Frequently Asked Questions

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Food Assistance (SNAP)

What is the income guideline for food assistance?
With zero income the maximum you can receive: based on your family size. Assistance Payment Chart

What do I need to bring with me to apply for food assistance?
In order for Job and Family Services to complete your application as soon as possible you will have to provide accurate verifications of your identity, residency, household income,and expenses. Some items that you should consider bringing with you are:
  • Social security cards or proof of an application for everyone who will be receiving the benefits (we may be able to check our system).Verification of residency (i.e. lease agreement or utility bill in your name)
  • Verification of household income earned and unearned income( pay stubs, child support, Social Security Income, or any other income you are receiving or you have received within the last 30 days)Verification of child support paid
  • Verification of Mortgage/rent (via rent receipt from last 30 days, current lease agreement in your name, or letter from person that you are living with that includes how much you pay per month)
  • Verification of Utility Cost (utility bill in your name or letter from landlord stating that you are responsible for the utility represented in the bill)
  • Child care expenses (receipt or letter from childcare provider stating how much you pay for childcare services).
  • If you are receiving Childcare Assistance from Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services we will be able to look up your co pay Medical Expense(if you are aged/ blind or disabled)

If I am not a U. S. citizen can I receive food assistance?
Possibly. Some non U.S. citizens may be eligible to receive food stamps. Your assigned Job and Family Services Case Manager will help to determine your eligibility.

How long would it take before I receive food assistance after I apply?
Expedited services are available for households with no income and who meet the expedited guideline within 24 to 72 hours. For non expedited services if all verifications are received the food assistance can be issued earlier. When approved, the card will be received within 5 – 10 days.

Where can I apply for food assistance?
You can apply at one of the three Opportunity Centers depending on your zip code or through Ohio Benefit Bank

How much food assistance will I receive?
The amount of food assistance you will receive is based on your household size, income and expenses.

Can I buy anything with my food assistance card?
Household items, magazines, newspapers, tobacco products, medicine, paper goods, vitamins, or alcoholic drinks may not be purchased with food assistance card. For more information about your EBT card please read the EBT FAQ document.

How long can I receive food assistance?
As long as your income falls within the guidelines and you abide by the rules and regulations of the food assistance program.

Medical Support Services (MSS)

How is disability determined?
The ODJFS Disability Determination Unit determines if a Medicaid applicant meets the definition of disability. To be considered disabled, an applicant, aged eighteen or older, must be unable to engage in any substantial gainful employment by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment, which can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than twelve months or result in death. The FCDJFS Disability Determination Area requests an applicant alleging disability complete a Disability Questionnaire, which includes social, employment, education, and medical histories. The applicant signs Authorization for the Release or Use of Protected Health Information forms, which allows collection of medical evidence pertaining to each alleged disability.

How long will it take before the applicant knows if they are eligible for Medicaid benefits?
To receive Medicaid, the applicant must meet financial and disability criterion. Medicaid also requires an individual to apply for Social Security disability benefits. The Medicaid eligibility process should be completed within ninety (90) days of application.

What if the applicant thinks they are disabled, but do not have any documentation from either the physician or mental health professional?
The applicant will be scheduled for medical evaluations and/or psychological evaluations at no cost to the applicant.

How is an applicant referred to the FCDJFS Disability Determination Area?
An applicant should tell their case manager that they believe they have a disability. The case worker will refer the individual to the FCDJFS Disability Determination Area.

If an individual is found eligible for cash assistance from the Disability Financial Assistance (DFA) Program, how much money will the person receive?
The current monthly cash allotment is $115

How do I find out more information about nursing homes and Medicaid?
Please find below more information

How do I verify 30 days of income when I just started my job?
You may have your new employer complete form 534B. Once you have received four weeks of pay you may submit your paystubs to the Childcare Unit.

Click here for the Income Verification Form.

Voter Registration

To vote in an election in Ohio, does a person have to be registered to vote?

How does a person know whether he or she is qualified to register and to vote in Ohio?
A person is qualified to register to vote in Ohio if that person meets all the following requirements:

  1. The person is a citizen of the United States
  2. The person will be at least 18 years old on or before the day of the next general election
  3. The person will be a resident of Ohio for at least 30 days immediately before the election in which the person wants to vote
  4. The person is not incarcerated (in prison) for a felony conviction under the laws of this state, another state or the U.S.
  5. The person has not been declared incompetent for voting purposes by a probate court
  6. The person has not been otherwise barred from voting in this state
   Once a person is properly registered to vote in this state, the person may vote in elections that occur more than 30 consecutive days after the person registered.

Does an applicant declare his or her political party affiliation at the time of registration?
No. An elector declares his or her politics by voting in a party primary election.

Does an applicant ever have to re-register to vote?
Yes, if the voter moves, changes his or her name, or fails to respond to an official notice from the board of elections and does not vote or update his or her voter registration at least once during a period of four years, including two federal elections, subsequent to receipt of the notice from the board of elections.

Can a person register if he or she is illiterate?
Yes.  If someone who is unable to read or write wishes to register or update an existing registration, you can read the instructions and help him or her complete the form.  If the customer is unable to sign, then pursuant to R.C. 3503.14, he or she is allowed to mark an “X” in the signature box indicating the customer’s intent to register to vote or update a current voter registration.  If the customer registers in this manner, the employee helping must sign the customer’s name in the signature box and then sign the employee’s own name.  If a customer is unable to make a mark, the customer must indicate in some manner his or her desire to register to vote or update a current registration.  The employee shall sign the customer’s name and the employee’s own name and attest that the applicant desires to register or update his or her voter registration.

Where can I register to vote and obtain a registration form??
In person - You may register in person at any of the public offices listed below:
  1. Any county board of elections
  2. Office of the Secretary of State
  3. Public libraries
  4. Public high schools or vocational schools
  5. County treasurers’ offices
  6. At the office of any registrar of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles
  7. State and local offices of designated agencies that provide public assistance or disability programs, including the departments of: job and family services, health, mental health, mental retardation and developmental disabilities, rehabilitation services commission, or each office that provides assistance to disabled students of a state-supported college or university

By Mail – You may request a registration form from a board of elections or the Secretary of State’s Office by mail, telephone, in person, or by having another person obtain it for you.

You may download an enterable voter registration application right here Voter Registration Form, or by visiting the Secretary of State’s Web site at Ohio Secretary of State

If I am not a U.S. citizen can I receive PRC?
Possibly. Some non U.S. citizens may be eligible to receive PRC assistance. Your assigned FCDJFS case manager will help to determine your eligibility. All individuals in your household who want to receive PRC assistance must provide information about their citizenship or immigration status. If anyone in your household does not want to provide information about his/her citizenship or immigration status, that person can be designated as a non-applicant. This means that the person will not be considered an applicant and will not be eligible for PRC. Non-applicant household members are still required to answer questions that affect the eligibility of the applicant household members, such as information about income, striker status, and Intentional Program Violations. The income of all non-applicant household members must be considered when determining the household’s eligibility. Other members of your household will still be able to get PRC if they are eligible for benefits.

What type of income must I report?
You must report all income that comes into the household. This includes pay from employment, unemployment benefits, social security, child support and annuities.

Prevention, Retention, and Contingency (PRC)

How many times can PRC be received?
The maximum allowance for Franklin County PRC benefits is one PRC payment within a period of twelve consecutive months. The twelve month period is determined by looking at the twelve months prior to the current date of application. Within the twelve-month period, benefits may be authorized to cover a single PRC request per household to assist families with basic needs such as shelter, utilities, auto repairs, and employment related expenses to resolve a specific crisis situation.

How much PRC can be received?
The amount of PRC paid is the amount actually required to meet the presenting need up to $1000 total. PRC payments must be distinctive, non-ongoing occurrences and must not exceed the limits set for specific subcategories of assistance.

Can a person with a “Green Card” register to vote in Ohio?
No. While federal law recognizes that some states allow holders of green cards to vote in local elections, Ohio is not one of those states. Therefore, a person voting or registering to vote in Ohio must be a U.S. citizen.

What is the income guideline for PRC?
You may qualify for PRC if your household’s gross monthly income is at or under 165% of the federal poverty guidelines.

Where can I apply for PRC assistance?
You may apply for PRC by filling out the Prevention, Retention, and Contingency Program (PRC) Application (FCDJFS 3800) and submitting it to the Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services (FCDJFS) by mail, in person, or by fax. You can get the form at one of the three FCDJFS Community Opportunity Centers or online through the JFS Community Portal at Click this link - PRC Application

What do I need to apply for PRC?
In order for FCDJFS to make a decision about your application as soon as possible you will have to provide proof of: • Identity • Residency and household composition (you may self-declare this information by writing it on the application) • Social Security Number (SSN) or proof of applying for an SSN for everyone in the assistance group (we may be able to check this information in our system) • Citizenship or qualified alien status • Income you are receiving or have received within the last 30 days (pay stubs, Social Security or SSI, tax records, child support, etc.) • Amount of the expense that you’re requesting assistance with (such as a landlord statement, utility bill, repair estimate) – NOTE: Some subcategories of PRC assistance require additional documentation such as a current lease agreement for rent payments or proof of liability insurance for auto repairs. Review the Franklin County PRC Plan for specific details. • Exploration of other community resources FCDJFS may check the information that you provide by contacting other agencies or people to make certain the information provided is correct. FCDJFS may ask you to provide other documents. If you need help getting any documents, tell your case manager and he/she will help you get the documents.

Childcare Certification

How do I become a child care provider?
The Child Care Certification Unit certifies and monitors all of the state subsidized in-home child care providers in Franklin County. This certification process requires various background checks, including, but not limited to: BCII, FBI, local children’s services agency, home inspections, fire inspection, medical statement from a physician verifying that the applicant is able to provide child care, as well as, the completion of initial and on-going training. To obtain an application to become a certified child care provider, please visit our website at: http://www.franklincountyohio.gov/commissioners/jafs/vendor-childcare.cfm

How long does it take to become certified?
That depends on how quickly you return required paperwork to our Agency, and the results of the background checks. Background checks are required through the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCII); Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the local children’s services agency. Normally, the certification process takes approximately 3- 5 months to complete.

How much does it cost to get certified?
This cost can vary greatly from as low as $200 to as high as $500.00. Variables that may affect the overall cost may include, but are not limited to the following:
  • Where you reside (City of Columbus vs. suburb or township)
  • Number of BCII/FBI background checks needed. The provider applicant, each household adult and each emergency caregiver
    must complete these checks. The cost per person varies from $52 to $60.
  • The cost of your physical exam, as completed by either your personal physician, or, clinic
  • Any needed safety or play equipment.

What’s the difference between a Limited Certified provider and a Professional type B provider?
These definitions are given in OAC 5101:2-14-01. A Limited Certified child care provider is certified to provide care to one of two audiences. The two categories are either the children of one specific non-relative/friend; OR, the children of legal, legitimate relatives. A professional type B child care provider is certified to provide care to the children of any parent/general public. Both providers are providing care in their own legal, private residence, with no more than 6 children on the premises for care at any one given time.

How much do I get paid?
The rate of pay varies according to how the provider is certified (Limited Certified vs Professional Type B); the child’s age at the time of billing; and the number of hours the child was in care each week. Because all child care providers are self-employed, no taxes are deducted from the provider’s checks.

How often do I get paid?
Providers are paid weekly via direct deposit by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

Do you take taxes out of my checks?
No, all child care providers are self-employed. Therefore, no taxes are deducted.

How many kids can I have in care?
This is addressed in OAC 5101:2-14-16. Child care providers are permitted to have no more than 6 children in care at any one given time. This would include the provider’s own children under the age of 6

Childcare Eligibility

I have custody of my niece (grandchild, sibling, etc) can I still apply for childcare benefits?
Yes if you are serving as the adult who is the caretaker for the child this is defined as a relative, foster parent or stepparent, who is charged with the rights, duties and responsibilities of a mother and/or a father parent and whose presence in the home is needed to perform these rights, duties and responsibilities OAC 5101:2-16-01(E). However, you must meet income guidelines based on income and family size as well as be enrolled in an approved work or training activity.

What are the income limitations?
As of July 2011 all new applications must be at or below the 125% poverty level. If you are currently a customer and your case has not been closed you may remain eligible up to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.
Click here for Income Guidelines.

How do I apply for subsidized Childcare?
You must complete an application for subsidized childcare. This application is different than the applications for other benefits. You may obtain an application from your day care center if they accept subsidized childcare, from one of our three Community Centers, or you may use the link below to print an application.
Click here for Child Care Benefits Application.

What type of verifications do I need in order for my application to be complete?
You need to provide proof of the past 30 days of income and verification of current school or work activity schedule.

Who do I contact to find out the status of my case?
You may contact the Childcare Eligibility Unit.
Click here for contact information.

Where can I get a list of home providers that accept subsidized childcare?

I am going back to school for my Masters Degree or second bachelors, can I get childcare while I am taking my classes?
A caretaker who is engaged in post-secondary education shall not be eligible for child care when the caretaker has completed the requirements for a baccalaureate degree, unless the education is necessary to meet specific requirements associated with maintaining the caretaker's employment, certification or licensure. 5101:2-16-30(P)

Do you have to provide a Social Security Number to apply for Childcare?
No, but it is helpful. A recent rule requires that all children receiving publically funded Childcare must verify their citizenship or legal alien status.

I currently have an open childcare case. How do I make changes to my childcare?
You may obtain a change form 1401-cc from either your day care provider or any of the three Opportunity Centers. You may also report the changes by e-mail or fax. Include the Change form. Attach 1401-cc Childcare Offices are located at The Northland Opportunity Center, 1721 Northland Park Ave , Columbus, OH 43329



I withdrew my hearing pending an agreement between me and my worker--the worker has not fulfilled that agreement.
Try to call the worker or supervisor to inquire as to why the action has not been done and if you do not get an answer to your satisfaction-call State hearings and go forth with a hearing.

The compliance ordered via the hearing decision has not be complied with-what do I do to resolve this matter?
Try to call the worker or supervisor-if you can not get in touch with either, call the state compliance officer and ask for help in resolving the issue.

When I get to the actual state hearing the worker and I come up with an agreement-is it too late to withdraw? Do I have to go forth with the hearing at this point?
No, you can tell the hearing officer that the two of you have came to an agreement on your case and you would like to withdraw the hearing.

If I want to request a hearing or a withdrawal do I have to submit it in writing?
No, you can currently submit a request for a hearing or withdrawal verbally, by phone, in writing and/or e-mail.


Does FCDJFS provide assistance with verifying citizenship?
Yes. Some of the programs we offer require you to verify citizenship.
Your case manager may be able to assist you in verifying citizenship by completing a Form #18. Please contact your case manager for more details.

You can obtain a certified copy of your birth certificate at
Columbus Public Health
240 Parsons Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Phone: (614) 645-7417

Where can I find information about the EPPI Card?
Please find below more information about the EEPI Card.

How do I use the online benefit application?
Please click Online Benefit Application to see the details.

When will this set-support hearing be scheduled?
The set-support hearing will not take place until after the administrative paternity order or administrative paternity acknowledgment becomes final. Those who have elected to sign the Acknowledgment of Paternity Affidavit will be notified by mail regarding the date of their set-supporthearing. For those who have been ordered to undergo genetic testing, set-support hearing notifications will be mailed out along with the results of their genetic tests.

I'm receiving public assistance. How important is it that I attend this administrative paternity conference?
As a recipient of public assistance, you are required to be present at this conference. Failure to participate in the administrative paternity process could result in a CSEA imposed sanction and could lead to a reduction in your welfare benefits.

Are homeless individuals eligible to register to vote?
Yes. Ohio law requires county agencies to provide voter registration material and opportunities to all individuals seeking services. In addition, ORC 3503.02 states: "(I) If a person does not have a fixed place of habitation, but has a shelter or other location at which the person has been a consistent or regular inhabitant and to which the person has the intention of returning, that shelter or other location shall be deemed the person's residence for the purpose of registering to vote."