Ohio Works First (OWF) is the financial assistance portion of Ohio's Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program. OWF was established to provide time-limited assistance to eligible families. OWF provides cash benefits to eligible, needy families for up to 36 months. After 36 months, a family cannot receive additional cash assistance unless the County Department of Job and Family Services (CDJFS) approves an extension of benefits. There are two kinds of extensions, hardship; and good cause. A family can receive a hardship extension any time after the 36-month time limit has ended. A family can only receive a good cause extension after a 24-month waiting period following the 36-month limit. Each CDJFS sets its own policies for hardship and good cause extensions. The emphasis of OWF is self-sufficiency, personal responsibility and employment.
General Program Requirements
In order to qualify for this benefit program, you must be a resident of Ohio, either pregnant or responsible for a child under 19 years of age, a U.S. national, citizen, legal alien, or permanent resident, have low or very low income, and be either under-employed (working for very low wages), unemployed or about to become unemployed.
Your Next StepsThe following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this program.
To apply for this program, please contact the local administering agency near you:
Program Contact Information
To phone the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) about Ohio Works First, please call:1-866-244-0071
TTY/TDD users can call:1-866-244-0071