Ohio TANF Program Benefits
TANF benefits in Ohio are distributed through a federal program known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. The TANF benefits program provides temporary assistance to low-income individuals and their children. Its ultimate goal is to provide children with the financial support and stable families they need. To receive these benefits, you must be classified as “low income,” a resident of the state and a U.S. citizen or national. If you are ready to learn more about T.A.N.F. benefits and what they offer, then continue reading the information below.
How long do TANF benefits last in Ohio?
Families eligible for Ohio TANF benefits will only receive assistance as long as they continue to meet the program’s requirements. Many beneficiaries ask, “How long do TANF benefits last if I continue to qualify as eligible?” The TANF benefits program has a maximum duration for which petitioners can collect. At the end of this period, beneficiaries will need to file for a hardship or good cause extension if they wish to continue receiving assistance. Families may file for and receive a hardship extension at any time after the time frame ends. As the name implies, they will be tasked will proving they are experiencing some sort of personal or financial hardship that prevents them from becoming financially independent.
If you still need TANF benefits after this period, then you may also file a good-cause extension. You may only file a good-cause extension after a two-year waiting period passes. Download our comprehensive guide to find out how long TANF benefits last without an extension as well as which reasons are considered a good cause.
How are Ohio TANF benefits distributed?
The Ohio TANF benefits program provides beneficiaries with a variety of ways to receive their funds. They may elect to have their TANF benefits directly deposited into a checking or savings account at their bank of choice. If a beneficiary does not have a checking or savings account, then he or she may elect to receive an OH EPPICard that contains their funds. The EPPICard may be used at any location that accepts MasterCard. Unlike the state’s EBT card, individuals may request cash back with their card. If you receive TANF benefits, then you will also be able to visit any credit union or MasterCard-member bank in the country and withdraw cash without a fee. If a benefit recipient chooses to use an ATM at another bank, then he or she will be charged a nominal withdrawal fee.
Other Types of Ohio TANF Benefits
When a resident applies for TANF benefits in Ohio, he or she may also find they meet the eligibility requirements for Medicaid. The TANF benefits program aims to ensure low-income individuals have access to the quality health care they need. For this reason, TANF enrollees will receive Medicaid coverage for up to one year after their benefits end. This coverage will allow them to receive health care and prescription drugs at an affordable price. The cost of coverage will depend on the income level and finances of the enrollee.
Individuals receiving TANF benefits may be required to work if they wish to continue receiving assistance. The TANF benefits program aims to help all beneficiaries become employed and self-sufficient, and the program will always encourage able-bodied, healthy individuals to find employment. If a TANF recipient with children needs child care so he or she can work or attend employment training, then he or she may be eligible for subsidized child care. This child care is offered to all TANF benefit recipients for up to one year or until their household income exceeds a certain percentage of the federal poverty level. Child care is offered to any minor younger than 13 years of age.
If you receive OH TANF benefits, then you may also be eligible for food assistance. Individuals who receive TANF benefits will automatically be considered eligible for the state food assistance program. Since the program aims to ensure individuals have access to the resources they need to be independent and self-sufficient, TANF beneficiaries will remain eligible for food assistance after they leave the program as long as their income does not exceed a certain percent of the federal poverty level. They must also continue to meet the eligibility criteria for the state food assistance program.
Where are Ohio TANF benefits accepted?
If you are enrolled in the TANF benefits program in Ohio, then you may only use your benefits at certain locations. Prior to receiving your TANF benefits, you will receive a list of locations that will not accept TANF benefits to ensure your awareness. According to state law, you may not use your cash assistance benefits at any of the following locations:
- Casinos, gaming, or gambling establishments
- Liquor stores
- Any location that provides adult entertainment
If enrollees attempt to use their electronic funds at any of the locations listed above, then it will automatically be declined. The state TANF benefits program also educates retailers about these restrictions.
Learn more about program restrictions and utilizing cash benefits in our free guide
How are Ohio TANF benefits calculated?
The amount of Ohio TANF benefits a family receives will depend on their income. The TANF benefits program does not distribute a fixed amount to all enrollees. Each county will carefully examine the income level and finances of each applicant. The amount each family receives will also be based on the number of individuals in the family as well as any other dependents residing in the household. Even though the TANF benefit program is a federal program, each state has the right to decide how it calculates benefit amounts.