Frequently Asked Questions

The following information should answer your most common questions, but if you still need assistance please call 1-800-555-5555 or visit our contact page for more information. 

Ohio Works First

Who is eligible?
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:
  • Adults 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. 
Who is not eligible?
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
How much are payments?
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. 

Ohio Means Jobs Services

What type of services does the Ohio Means Jobs Services offer to Job Seekers?
The following services are designed to help job seekers find and maintain employment. Services are free and include: computers, fax and phone to aid job search, training in beginning computer use, tools to create a resume and prepare for job interviews, career exploration, facts on occupations in demand and wage statistics, information on obtaining a GED or remediation in reading, math and English, and tips on funding for school. The Ohio Means Jobs also offers information and guidance about starting your own business.
Can I apply for Unemployment Compensation Benefits at the Ohio Means Jobs?
The Ohio Means Jobs system does not handle unemployment claims and cannot assist individuals with this issue. To file a claim call 1-877-644-6562 during business hours of 7:30 AM – 4:30 PM Monday through Friday or visit
What type of services does the Ohio Means Jobs offer for Employers?
The Ohio Means Jobs and its partners can help companies find qualified employees and provide training and other resources to employers. Services include recruitment, employee training, retention services, and rapid response to help employers with critical need.