In a Nutshell

In the heart of the Midwest, Ohio stands as a vibrant hub of industry and innovation, with bustling cities and a rich cultural heritage. However, like many states, Ohio faces economic challenges like inflation and a decrease in job opportunities. About 13.4% of its residents live below the poverty line, surpassing the national average of 11.5%.

Ohio government agencies and nonprofit organizations offer a range of financial assistance programs to address these challenges. These initiatives aim to support families with cash benefits, food assistance, healthcare services, and more, ensuring vital resources reach those who need them most.

Read on to learn about Ohio's financial assistance programs and uncover the resources that can help you overcome financial hardship.

Government Assistance Programs in Ohio

Ohio's government assistance programs serve as a lifeline for residents facing economic challenges. These programs support individuals and families by offering crucial aid such as healthcare coverage, financial assistance, and support for childcare needs.

Cash Assistance Programs

Cash assistance programs in Ohio help eligible individuals and families facing financial difficulties. Whether through temporary assistance or long-term support, these programs aim to alleviate financial strain and promote stability when needed.

  • Part of the state's Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, OWF offers cash benefits to qualifying families
  • Ohio residents can review eligibility, application status, and management of cash assistance through the Ohio Benefits portal
  • Known nationally as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Aids low-income individuals in purchasing healthy food
  • Participants use the Ohio Direction Card/EBT at most grocery stores, convenience stores, and farmers’ markets statewide
  • Ohio does not currently have any new stimulus programs planned for 2024.
  • Individuals who have not received the IRS stimulus checks from previous years may still be eligible. The IRS has extended the deadline for non-filers to claim benefits under the three rounds of COVID-19 pandemic stimulus payments for tax year 2020 until May 17, 2024.
  • Ohioans can still benefit from state tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child and Dependent Care Credit to reduce taxable income.

Pregnant and Single Mother Programs

Ohio offers comprehensive pregnancy-related services (PRS), including medical appointments, transportation assistance, nutrition, referrals, educational support on infant care, and accessibility to community services for basic needs.

  • Includes Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
  • Offers healthcare coverage to children under 19 and pregnant women meeting income criteria
  • Supports low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women, as well as children up to age 5 who are at a nutritional risk
  • Participants receive supplemental food supplies, health care referrals, and nutrition education for a healthy diet and overall wellness

Child Care Services

Child care services in Ohio are vital for families juggling work or school. These programs offer financial support, making it easier for low-income parents to afford quality childcare while allowing them to focus on their own goals and responsibilities.

  • Also known as Child Care Assistance
  • Helps eligible working parents pay for child care, providing education experiences for children
  • Aims to increase access to quality child care and financial support for families
  • Families may need to pay part of the childcare cost and related fees directly to the provider

Medical Assistance

In Ohio, medical assistance programs are pivotal in ensuring vital healthcare support. Such programs streamline access to essential medical services, guaranteeing that residents receive the necessary care.

  • Also known as Medical Assistance
  • Assists low-income individuals in Ohio, offering a comprehensive range of healthcare treatments and services
  • Most Medicaid recipients in Ohio must enroll in a managed care plan to access their healthcare services
  • Offers free or low-cost health coverage to uninsured children up to age 19 in families with incomes up to 206% of the federal poverty level
  • Healthcare coverage includes routine check-ups, immunizations, and dental care
  • Ohio Medicaid and the Ohio Department of Health work together to provide healthcare coverage and services to women who have been diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer, including pre-cancerous conditions
  • Services include screenings such as mammograms and pap tests, diagnostic procedures like biopsies, and office visits
  • If diagnosed, Ohio Medicaid provides comprehensive coverage for treatment and healthcare services beyond cancer treatment, facilitated through its fee-for-service delivery system

Food Assistance

Food assistance programs in Ohio play a crucial role in supporting families facing financial challenges by ensuring access to essential nutrition. The programs are designed to meet the dietary needs of Ohio residents and promote health and well-being throughout the state.

  • Provides free or reduced-price school breakfasts and lunches to K-12 students across the state
  • Also known as SUN Bucks
  • Offers grocery benefits to low-income families with school-aged children during summer breaks
  • Families can use these benefits to purchase food at grocery stores, farmers' markets, and authorized retailers
  • Helps low-income residents by providing them with emergency food assistance at no cost

Assistance for Veterans

  • Veteran benefits are available to those who have served in the U.S. military or their spouses
  • Benefits include financial assistance, healthcare, loans, legal aid, tax provisions, and more

Elderly and Disabled Adult Programs

Ohio offers comprehensive support through programs designed for elderly and disabled adults. The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) provides assessment, service planning, and coordination for adults and children with developmental disabilities.

Brad Reichert, founder and managing director of Reichert Asset Management LLC, sheds light on a valuable resource for adults with disabilities in Ohio:

“The Ohio 811 Program allows extremely low-income households of one or more adults with a disability to receive financial assistance through a rental subsidy and access to other supportive residential services”

Reichert then adds, “the program partners with the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM), the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD), and the Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services (OhioMHAS). It recruits and trains Referral Agents to identify and refer candidates who need this kind of housing assistance. The Ohio Housing Locator maintains a listing of affordable rental housing properties throughout the state.”

  • Coordinates a system of managed care plans to integrate physical, behavioral, and long-term care services
  • Includes coverage for Medicare-eligible individuals with disabilities, older adults, and those receiving behavioral health care
  • Connects Ohio businesses with older adults and people with disabilities, offering special savings like discounts, waived fees, and free products or services
  • Helps participants to remain healthy and active in their communities
  • Acts as a directory of organizations that offer regional assistance to older Ohioans and families, enhancing access to crucial resources
  • Provides services like meals, transportation, home modifications, and caregiver support

Utility Bill Assistance

Utility bill assistance programs help Ohio residents manage their energy costs by providing financial aid for heating, cooling, and other utilities.

  • Emergency cash assistance for low-income households who need help paying energy bills
  • One-time benefit applied directly to utility or bulk fuel bills
  • Helps reduce energy use, creating more affordable housing
  • Services include insulation, air leakage reduction, and system repairs
  • Helps eligible Ohioans manage energy bills year-round
  • Payments based on a percentage of household income

Transportation Assistance

Transportation Assistance programs in Ohio provide reliable travel services for seniors, individuals with disabilities, and low-income families. These services ensure access to medical appointments, essential services, and community activities, keeping residents connected and mobile.

  • Beneficiaries receive ambulance and non-emergency transportation when it’s medically needed
  • Senior Transportation Programs: The Area Agency on Aging or local senior centers assist eligible older adults with essential trips, such as medical appointments, errands, and shopping
  • Public Transit Agencies: the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) offers fixed routes and bus services for people with disabilities
  • Ohio Mobility Management Program: Mobility management agents can assess eligibility and match individuals with the best transportation options in their community

Divorce Assistance

  • The Ohio State Bar Association connects residents with valuable legal information, services, and a network of statewide partnerships to help them find the right lawyer for their legal needs
  • Ohio Legal Help provides resources to understand legal options, make informed decisions, and connect with legal aid, pro bono services, or lawyer referral programs

Assistance for Unemployment

Unemployment assistance serves as a safety net during economic uncertainty, ensuring that affected individuals can maintain financial stability.

  • Provides temporary income to eligible workers who have lost their jobs, helping them meet basic needs while they seek new job opportunities
  • Helps unemployed residents find jobs, develop career skills, meet government benefit requirements, and access additional resources

Housing and Homelessness Assistance

Housing and homelessness programs aim to preserve and expand affordable housing, tackle homelessness, and provide emergency assistance. They also offer various public services to support low-income residents, improving the quality of life and fostering community stability across the state.

  • Assistance with home utilities, including mortgage, rent, and bills like gas, electric, bulk fuel, water/sewer, and trash
  • For more information, contact the local Community Action Agency (CAA)

Nonprofit Assistance Programs in Ohio

Nonprofit organizations in Ohio support individuals and families experiencing significant financial challenges. These organizations secure funding through various programs and initiatives to offer essential services such as food, shelter, and healthcare, serving communities across the Buckeye State.

  • Supports a network of local nonprofit partners that provide critical resources and opportunities for Ohio residents
  • Offers assistance in two key areas: basic needs and student success
  • Online resource to find grant funding opportunities for individuals, small businesses, nonprofits, and more
  • Provides an updated list of grants for a variety of needs, including health, education, arts, and financial assistance
  • Thirteen food banks serve Ohio's larger areas, ensuring access to feeding programs
  • Collaborates with local pantries, shelters, and specialized programs statewide for food distribution

How Do You Get Financial Help in Ohio?

While Ohio offers several financial assistance programs, they may not be effective enough to handle unsustainable debts like high-interest credit card balances or medical bills. If you're feeling weighed down by debt, partnering with a trusted debt relief company like TurboDebt can make all the difference.

TurboDebt provides effective Ohio debt relief programs for residents looking for customized assistance. In 2023 alone, we helped thousands of Ohioans reduce their total debt by an average of 55% before fees.

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