Help for Single Mothers in OHIO

Ohio, OH

Parenting is daunting enough with a partner, but even more so if you’re a single mother going it alone on one income. The state of Ohio has lined up several support programs designed to help them tide over difficult times while they work toward becoming self-sufficient.

Ohio Earned Income Credit #

Ohio is one of 31 states with an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) — pegged at 30% of the federal allocation, but it does little to help the state’s poorest working families. 1

Ohio’s credit leaves out the most important part: refundability. This non-refundable credit holds limited value for the poorest families at tax time.

How much is Ohio Earned Income Credit?

  • NO. OF CHILD Maximum EIC
  • 0 $180
  • 1 $1,198
  • 2 $1,981
  • 3 or more $2,229

In addition, Ohio's version of the EITC is limited to half of the income tax owed on income above $20,000, above which your EIC will be based on your federal EITC.

To claim an EITC, you must file a federal tax return, IRS Form 1040. If you have a qualifying child, be sure to attach a Schedule EIC.

Ohio Works First (OWF) #

Ohio Works First (OWF) is the financial assistance portion of Ohio’s TANF program. OWF was established to provide time-limited cash assistance to eligible, needy families.

OWF cash benefit is limited to 36 months for families with minor children or pregnant women. For "child only" cases there is no time limit.

Eligibility is limited to needy families earning at or below 50% of the federal poverty level. For a family of three, that's just $1,036 per month.

How much is cash assistance will I get in Ohio?

Currently, an OWF benefit for a family of three is $542. Benefits are issued through either the Ohio PATHWAY card or deposited directly into your bank account.

How do I apply for cash assistance in Ohio?

You may apply for Ohio Works First online by going to Ohio Benefits or by filling out the “Request for Cash, Food and Medical Assistance” (JFS 7200) form and submitting it to your county agency.

Ohio Food Assistance Program #

Ohio Food Assistance Program — known nationally as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), helps eligible low-income Ohioans stretch their food budgets and buy healthy food.

Families qualify for benefits if their household’s gross monthly income is at or below 130% of the federal poverty guidelines or about $2,693 a month for a family of three.

Family Size 100% 130%
1 $1,215 $1,579
2 $1,643 $2,137
3 $2,072 $2,693
4 $2,500 $3,250
5 $2,928 $3,807
6 $3,357 $4,363
7 $3,785 $4,921
8 $4,213 $5,478

Gross income limit applies to most households, except those in which at least one person is 60 years of age or older, or receives disability income.

How much is SNAP benefits in Ohio?

Benefits may vary depending on a variety of factors, including the household’s size and income. For example, a family of three with no income may receive up to $740 in monthly SNAP benefits.

How do I apply for SNAP in Ohio?

Application for Ohio Food Assistance Program (FAP) can be made online at Ohio Benefits or in person at your local county agency.

Ohio Special Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) #

Ohio WIC helps income eligible pregnant and breastfeeding women, new mothers, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at health risk due to inadequate nutrition.

To be fully eligible for the program, applicants must be determined by a health professional to be “at nutritional risk” and have incomes within the Ohio’s WIC income guidelines.

What is the income limit for WIC in Ohio?

WIC is open to Ohio families with a household income less than or equal to 185% of the poverty level.

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 1 $2,248
  • 2 $3,040
  • 3 $3,833
  • 4 $4,625
  • 5 $5,418
  • 6 $6,210
  • 7 $7,003
  • 8 $7,795

How do I apply for WIC in Ohio?

WIC clinics are located in all 88 Ohio counties. To find a WIC clinic near you, please click here or call 1-800-755-GROW (4769) for assistance.

Ohio Medicaid #

Ohio Medicaid guarantees coverage for basic health and long-term care services for Ohioans from low-income families — mostly uninsured families with children under age 19.

Those who qualify gain access to important services like doctor visits, prescriptions, hospital care, vision and dental care, immunizations, mental health services and more.

Medicaid is free for those who meet the income guidelines; however, co-pays may apply to some services, about $4 each for most office visits and prescriptions.

Healthy Families is a Medicaid program available to families with income up to 90% of the federal poverty level and a child younger than age 19.

What is the income threshold for Medicaid in Ohio?

As Ohio is expanding Medicaid coverage, Medicaid is now available to all adults age between 19-64 with income up to 138% of the federal poverty level, about $34,310 for a family of three.

Ohio Medicaid 156% 205% 138%
1 $22,740 $29,890 $20,120
2 $30,760 $40,430 $27,210
3 $38,780 $50,960 $34,310
4 $46,800 $61,500 $41,400
5 $54,820 $72,040 $48,490
6 $62,840 $82,570 $55,590
7 $70,860 $93,110 $62,680
8 $78,870 $103,650 $69,770

A 5% disregard based on the federal poverty level (FPL) for the household size is applied and is reflected in the amounts shown above.

How do I apply for Medicaid in Ohio?

Apply online at Ohio Benefits — the official portal for Ohio residents to apply for Medicaid. If you need help with the online application you can call

Ohio Medicaid Consumer Hotline

Ohio Healthy Start (SCHIP) #

Healthy Start (also called SCHIP) provides health care coverage for children from birth through age 18 and pregnant women who qualify based on income.

Healthy Start is open to uninsured children from families whose household income is 211% or less of the federal poverty level (FPL) or 205% or less for pregnant women.

What is the income limit for Ohio Healthy Start?

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 1 $30,760
  • 2 $41,610
  • 3 $52,450
  • 4 $63,300
  • 5 $74,150
  • 6 $84,990
  • 7 $95,840
  • 8 $106,680

A 5% disregard based on the federal poverty level (FPL) for the household size is applied and is reflected in the amounts shown above.

For most families, it is free. For families who qualify under higher income bracket, co-payments typically range from $3 to $5.

Ohio Medicaid Consumer Hotline

Ohio Publicly Funded Child Care (PFCC) #

Ohio's Publicly Funded Child Care (PFCC) is the state subsidy program targeted at low-income families who need help paying for child care.

PFCC provides assistance with payment for child care on a sliding fee basis for eligible parents while they work, attend school, or take part in job training.

The program pays for part of the child care costs, and you co-pay for a portion based on your income, family size and the number of children in care.

What is the income limit for child care assistance in Ohio?

A family is considered “income eligible” when the total gross monthly income is at or below 142% of the federal poverty level at the time of initial application.

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 2 $2,333
  • 3 $2,942
  • 4 $3,550
  • 5 $4,158
  • 6 $4,767
  • 7 $5,375
  • 8 $5,983

How do I apply for child care assistance in Ohio?

Families whose income does not exceed 142% of the federal poverty level may apply for PFCC online at

Ohio Summer Food Service #

Ohio's Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is a federally funded program that provides free nutritious meals to children living in low-income areas throughout Ohio. The program operates throughout the summer months (Jun – Aug) when they are out of school.

All children ages 1 through 18 are eligible to receive free meals during the summer months at participating program sites. No applications are necessary and no registration is required.

For more information about Summer Food Service Program or to find an SFSP site near you call 1-866-3-HUNGRY (486479).

Ohio Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) #

Ohio's Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) helps income eligible Ohioans pay their heating bills. The HEAP program provides a credit once per winter heating season towards a household's primary heating source. 2

Ohioans with a household income at or below 175% of the federal poverty guidelines, or about $43,510 for a family of three, are eligible for the program.

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 1 $25,520
  • 2 $34,510
  • 3 $43,510
  • 4 $52,500
  • 5 $61,500
  • 6 $70,490
  • 7 $79,490
  • 8 $88,480

How much is the HEAP benefit in Ohio?

HEAP benefits range from $50 to $930, depending on household income and energy costs. Priority is given to households with the highest needs or home energy costs in relation to their income.

Can I apply for HEAP online in Ohio?

You can submit your application online at along with a copy of your most recent utility bills.

For additional information about Ohio HEAP, please call HEAP toll-free at (800) 282-0880 to be directed to your local HEAP provider.

If you have received a disconnect notice, you should immediately contact your local HEAP provider for help applying for Emergency HEAP.

Ohio Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) #

Ohio LIHWAP is a temporary emergency program designed to help low-income households and families who have fallen behind on their water and wastewater bills.

Eligible households with income at or below 175% of the federal poverty guidelines are eligible for LIHWAP assistance, about $43,510 for a family of three to qualify.

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 1 $25,520
  • 2 $34,510
  • 3 $43,510
  • 4 $52,500
  • 5 $61,500
  • 6 $70,490
  • 7 $79,490
  • 8 $88,480

The program will run through September 30, 2023, or until funds are exhausted, whichever comes first.

How do I get help paying my water bill in Ohio?

If you are in danger of falling behind on your water bills and need help, you may submit your application online and contact your local Energy Assistance Provider to complete your application.

Ohio Unemployment Insurance #

Ohio Unemployment Insurance is a “wage replacement” program that helps workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own.

It provides temporary financial help to qualified individuals based on their previous earnings, while they are looking for a new job.

In Ohio, your weekly benefit amount is computed at ½ of your average weekly earnings during your base period, up to a cap that is determined by the number of your dependents.

How much is unemployment insurance in Ohio?

Ohio is one of the few states that offers a dependency allowance to those who qualify. If you have up to two dependents, you may receive up to $680 per week of unemployment benefit.

  • Dependents Weekly Benefit
  • 0 $561
  • 1 or 2 $680
  • 3 or more $757

To maintain your unemployment benefits, you are required to register with OhioMeansJobs and actively seek suitable employment each week that you are collecting benefits.

How do I file for unemployment in Ohio?

You may apply for UI benefits either electronically or by phone at 1-877-OHIOJOB (1-877-644-6562) toll-free, Monday through Friday (except holidays) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Ohio College Opportunity Grant (OCOG) #

Ohio College Opportunity Grant (OCOG) program provides grant money to Ohio students who demonstrate the highest levels of financial need with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $2,190 or less.

Award amounts may vary based on student’s enrollment status and the type of institution the student is attending. Use these calculators to determine OCOG refund and eligibility amounts.

Students may apply for OCOG by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The application deadline is October 1 each year.


  1. On April 8, 2019, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) signed legislation to increase the state’s EITC from 10 to 30 percent of the federal credit and remove the income cap.
  2. Families who live in federally subsidized housing where the heat is included in the rent are not eligible for HEAP.

If this is not your state, please select yours here.
Share this article