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.
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.
To apply for this program, please contact the local administering agency near you: