Eligibility for TANF in Ohio


Ohio TANF eligibility standards are largely based on income level and other state-mandated requirements. These TANF requirements decide whether an individual or family is eligible to receive financial assistance from the government. The TANF program is designed for low-income families, and it strives to ensure the children from these families have access to the financial resources they need. The program also attempts to cultivate the formation of two-parent households in low-income communities. Keep reading to learn more about the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) eligibility in Ohio.

Who qualifies for TANF in Ohio?

Learning who qualifies for TANF in Ohio does not have to be difficult. As mentioned above, TANF eligibility is largely determined by household income and employment status, and there are strict income limits used to evaluate the eligibility of a household or individual. To be eligible for benefits, you must be a resident of the state of Ohio. You must also be:

  • Currently pregnant or financially responsible for a child younger than 19 years of age.
  • Categorized as a low or very-low income individual.
  • A U.S. citizen or national, permanent resident or legal alien.
  • Unemployed or underemployed.

If you meet the TANF requirements listed above, then you will more than likely be able to receive benefits. The state government defines “underemployed” as being employed but earning less than one needs to survive. You may be eligible for TANF benefits if you are currently employed but you believe you will be unemployed in the future.

Find comprehensive information about receiving government assistance in Ohio by downloading our free guide.

Ohio TANF Requirements and the OWF Program

If a person meets the Ohio TANF eligibility standards, then he or she will also qualify for the Ohio Works First (OWF) program. This program is required for anyone who meets TANF requirements and chooses to receive benefits, as it provides families with financial assistance for a limited amount of time. Ohio families can receive cash assistance for a set period, after which, they will need to be approved for an extension (this extension usually requires a hardship). Each county has different TANF requirements in regards to the OWF program, but if you wish to continue receiving benefits, then you will need to provide an acceptable reason.

What are the income limits for TANF in Ohio?

Residents can only find out if they meet Ohio TANF requirements by filling out a Request for Food, Cash and Medical Assistance form from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS). The ODJFS will decide who qualifies for TANF based on applications, and the department will want in-depth information about meeting eligibility requirements such as your income and personal finances before it can make a decision. The ODJFS will ask you for information if you receive income from any of the following sources:

  • Full- or part-time employment
  • Child, spousal or medical support
  • Disability or retirement benefits
  • Worker’s compensation
  • Social Security benefits or SSI

You will also need to provide information about the amount of money in your checking and savings account, any stocks, bonds or annuities you may have. To meet TANF requirements, you will need to provide income information for all the members of your household if they have received any income within the last 60 days.

Evertone who qualifies for TANF will also need to report any expenses they have. If you believe you are eligible for TANF, then you will need to provide details about any expenses the members of your household have as well. These expenses may include child care as well as any child or spousal support payments. You will need to provide an estimate of your medical expenses if you are responsible for anyone who is disabled or at least 60 years of age. Your TANF eligibility may also be impacted by the amount you pay for rent or mortgage and utilities such as gas, electricity and water. If any of your income information changes during the year, then you will need to report the change to the appropriate party immediately.

Review our comprehensive guide for more details about applying for financial assistance in Ohio.

Additional Ohio TANF Requirements

Other Ohio TANF requirements may be implemented by the ODJFS. If an applicant meets the TANF eligibility standards, then he or she may be required to enter into a self-sufficiency contract to receive program benefits. A unique contract may be drawn up for each member of the household that sets forth conditions regarding the employment options and behavior of each individual. The self-sufficiency contract aims to ensure each member of the household is capable of providing for himself or herself at the end of 36 months, and most contracts will include some type of work provision. Unemployed members of the household who meet the requirements for TANF may be required to perform community service or file for child support if they are eligible and have not done so already.

Different TANF requirements may be enforced by different counties. Many counties require all able-bodied and work-eligible beneficiaries to perform a job search on a regular basis. This job search entails filling out and submitting applications, and beneficiaries will need to submit proof of their search. If a family that meets the TANF eligibility standards fails to adhere to any of the terms of their self-sufficiency contract, then they will be sanctioned. If individuals or a family is sanctioned a total of three times, then they may have their TANF benefits revoked for a period of time. Eligible TANF beneficiaries who are already employed, laid-off or involved in a labor dispute may not be required to meet any work provisions.

Ohio Family Assistance

What Kind of Family Assistance Does Ohio Offer?

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) manages the implementation of family programs designed to provide assistance to families in need. These programs include food assistance, cash assistance and protective services. Learn more about the services the ODJFS provides by downloading our comprehensive guide today.

Who Can Benefit From Ohio Family Assistance?

Individuals and households who need support in buying food and other necessities can receive assistance from the various ODJFS programs. In order to receive benefits, applicants must meet certain criteria, such as income, age and citizenship requirements. See what benefits you could qualify for here.