Lorain County Job & Family Services

Cash Assistance

What is OWF?

  • Ohio Works First (OWF) provides cash benefits to needy families
  • OWF is a time-limited program - adults are only eligible for 36 months of OWF in their lifetimes
  • Benefits are issued via DIrect Deposit or on an EPPICard, which works like a debit card

The following individuals are potentially eligible for OWF if they meet the initial eligibility test and the income, residence, citizenship, and work requirements of the program:

  • Pregnant women entering or in the third trimester of pregnancy
  • Single or married adults with minor dependent children in the home
  • Unmarried minor parents and pregnant minors
  • Minor children who live with someone other than a parent

What are the program eligibility requirements?

  • Completion of an application and interview with a caseworker
  • Assessment with an Employment Service Counselor (ESC)
  • Signing a Self-Sufficiency Contract with the ESC
  • Weekly participation in the JOBS Program as coordinated by the ESC

How many hours per month do I have to participate in the JOBS Program?

If your household contains:

You must work for this number of hours every month:

One eligible adult with a child under 6

At least 86 hours per month (20 hrs/wk)

One eligible adult with a child 6 or older

At least 129 hours per month (30 hrs/wk)

Two eligible adults

At least 151 hours per month (35 hrs/wk)

Two eligible adults who use subsidized child care

At least 237 hours per month (55 hrs/wk)

What is the initial eligibility test and payment standard for my household size?

  • The OWF initial eligibilty test is a monthly income standard; those whose incomes fall under the standard are potentially eligible to receive OWF
  • Payment standards and initial eligibility test standards on the following chart are listed monthly

OWF Assistance Group Size

Initial Eligibility Test

Payment Standard

1

$495

$283

2

$668

$387

3

$840

$474

4

$1,013

$584

5

$1,185

$684

6

$1,358

$761

7

$1,531

$851

8

$1,704

$943

9

$1,878

$1,037

10

$2,051

$1,130

11

$2,224

$1,222

12

$2,398

$1,316

What happens if I fail to cooperate with the JOBS Program?

  • The adult who failed to comply with the JOBS Program will be removed from Food Assistance benefits
  • The entire assistance group will be sanctioned from receiving OWF for a minimum time period or until they comply with the JOBS Program
  • The length of the sanction depends on the number of previous sanctions imposed on the adult who failed to comply with the JOBS Program:

Number of sanctions

Length of sanction

1

1 month or until compliance, whichever is longer

2

3 months or until compliance, whichever is longer

3 or more

6 months or until compliance, whichever is longer

  • For third occurence and all subsequent sanctions, the adult who failed to comply with the JOBS Program will also be removed from Medicaid until compliance with the sanction has been achieved

 How do I apply for OWF?

  • Click here for more information

What are some other information sites about the OWF Program?