Assistance Programs FAQs

The following information should answer your most common questions, but if you still need assistance please call (419) 898-3688 or visit our contact page for more information.

The toll free number for clients is 1-866-386-3071.
The website they can access is Note: You will need to use Internet Explorer or Firefox 4 or above to view the site.
The first step is to be certified by the Food and Nutrition Services. They can call 1 (877) 823-4369, toll free, to get more information and request an application. If they have internet access, they may find most of the answers to their questions, as well as an online application.
If a client already has an Ohio Direction Card, FS benefits, including auxiliary and supplements, will be routed through batch processing. There will be five batch processing times during the business day. Benefits will be credited to the clients account no more than 1/2 hour after batch. The client should contact customer service to verify benefits are available in their account before going shopping.
A new/replacement EBT Card will be sent by mail in 7 to 10 business days if the client is new to the system. Individuals who have lost or stolen cards will need to contact the EBT Customer Service to obtain a replacement card
JARC may be available on the evenings and weekends. Please contact them at 330.424.4015 to discuss your transportation needs.
Along with providing transportation to and from your work assignment, schooling or place of employment, JARC may be able to include drop off and pick up of your child at child care. Talk to a transportation specialist for details.
JARC can provide transportation to and from paid employment, schooling or an OWF assignment from any town in Ottawa County to any destination in Ottawa County.
Families with earned income who do not currently participate in Ohio Works First, (OWF) and who have not participated in at least one of the previous four months, must meet a “gross monthly income test” for eligibility. Gross monthly income includes unearned income and earned income before taxes. The gross monthly income limit for a family of three is currently $796, but this increases annually. If a family member works and pays for child care, the actual verified cost of child care can be deducted. There is no resource limit for OWF because resources are not considered in determining eligibility. OWF has the following additional requirements:
  • dults and minor heads of household must participate in work activities.
  • Minor children in assistance groups and women who are at least six months pregnant may be eligible to receive individual assistance.
  • Children must reside with a parent, specified relative, legal guardian or a legal custodian.
  • Unmarried minor parents and pregnant minors must be in approved adult-supervised living arrangements or live with a parent, legal guardian, specified relative or legal custodian.
  • Adults and minor heads of household who apply for or receive benefits must sign a self sufficiency contract.
Failure to sign the self-sufficiency contract, without good cause, can result in denial or termination of benefits which would affect the entire family. The contract explains the requirements for the participant, the requirements for the county department of job and family services and, if applicable, the requirements for the child support enforcement agency and/or public children services agency.
Assistance groups are not eligible if they include an individual who:
  • Does not sign the self sufficiency contract,
  • Does not comply with the terms of the contract,
  • Terminates employment without just cause while receiving transitional Medicaid or child care benefits,
  • Has income that exceeds the amount for the assistance group size,
  • Has received benefits fraudulently,
  • Receives SSI, or
  • Receives adoption assistance payments or federal, state or local foster care maintenance payments.
Other individuals who are not eligible include:
  • Fugitive felons
  • Probation/parole violators
  • Individuals convicted for fraudulent misstatement of residence in order to receive benefits
Currently, an OWF payment for a family of three is $458. Benefits are issued through either the Ohio Eppicard, which is a pre-paid debit MasterCard, or deposited directly into a checking or savings account. The Eppicard can be used at MasterCard member banks, ATMs and any retailers that accept MasterCard.