Health and Public Benefits


Medicaid provides health coverage to lower-income people of all ages. Read more to find out if you might be eligible and how to apply. 

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

See what you need to know to take action.

Medicaid is a federal program that helps pay medical costs for people struggling with their health care expenses. Medicaid does not send money directly to patients, it pays the people providing the health care.

Medicaid eligibility

Even if you have checked your eligibility before, or if you don't think you're eligible, it's worth checking. Medicaid has different types of programs and eligibility rules have changed over time. You can use the Ohio Benefits website to check if you're eligible for Medicaid.

There are different Medicaid programs in Ohio that cover different groups. These groups include: 

  • Low-income people between the age of 18 - 64
  • Children
  • Pregnant women
  • Parents of covered children
  • People with disabilities
  • Elderly people needing nursing home care
  • Some military families who can obtain Medicaid to supplement TRICARE

There is also a maximum amount that you can earn in order to qualify. Sometimes a child may be eligible for Medicaid even if the child's parents are not.  

How to apply for Medicaid

To apply for Medicaid, you will need:

  • Proof of identity, like a photo ID, birth certificate or passport
  • Social Security card, or proof that you have applied for one 
  • Proof of your immigration status if you are not a citizen
  • Documents showing all income sources, like pay stubs or your SSI award letter, and your assets, like bank statements and your car title
  • Proof of any child support that you pay
  • Proof of your housing and utility costs
  • Proof of disability if that's why you're applying, like a letter from your doctor

There are several ways to apply:

Make your application as complete as possible. JFS or the state of Ohio may contact you if they need more information. Check your mail and messages. Keep your contact information up to date. Let JFS know if you move or change your phone number.

If your application is denied

If your Medicaid application is denied, and you think it should be approved, contact legal aid for help.

Forms and Letters

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