Health and Public Benefits

Ohio's public benefits

If you live in Ohio and need some extra support, you may be eligible for certain benefits. Read more to find out what benefits you might qualify for and how to apply for them.

Follow these steps to make sure that you get or keep all the benefits and tax credits you are eligible for in 2022:

  • File your 2021 tax return. Even if you aren’t required to or don’t normally file your taxes. There are changes to the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit that you can only get if you file 2021 taxes.
  • Update your household info with ODJFS. Many people have been displaced or experienced changes in their lives during the pandemic. Update your Medicaid and SNAP cases to make sure you keep your benefits and know when deadlines are coming up. Call (844) 640-6446 or go to "Government and Community Resources" on this page to find the contact information for your local ODJFS office. 
  • Update your household info with your child’s school. Schools need to keep your information up to date so your child(ren) receive available free or reduced-price school meals and Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) funds. If your child is out of school because of a COVID-19 related reason, make sure to report the reason for their absence to your child’s school so that they may receive P-EBT funds for qualifying absences. Even if your child is receiving free school meals during the COVID-19 pandemic, submit a new National School Meals Program application to your school so that they do not lose access if they are still eligible after the pandemic. Learn more at
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Understanding the Basics

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Ohio offers different kinds of benefits that can help with food, health care, housing, unemployment and disabilities. 

Food and health programs

For individuals and families with a lower income, these programs may be able to help: 

  • SNAP or other food assistance can help if you cannot afford groceries. 
  • WIC can help pregnant women and children 5 and under get healthy food, baby formula and health screenings.
  • Medicaid can provide health coverage if you have a low income and don't have health insurance.  

Cash assistance 

For low-income families with children:

  • Ohio Works First (also known as TANF or welfare) can help pay for housing, medicine, utilities and other things you need.

There are also cash assistance programs available for people in special situations:

  • Unemployment payments can help if you have lost your job and haven’t been able to find a new one.
  • Social Security can help if you have a disability that keeps you from working.

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