Emergency assistance available to low-income Ohioans in disaster areas

The Record-Herald

COLUMBUS – Emergency assistance is available to low-income individuals affected by the tornadoes that touched down earlier this week in Montgomery, Greene and Mercer counties, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) announced Thursday.

The funding could potentially be used to help families in counties where Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine declared a state of emergency pay for such things as appliance replacement, home repair or clothing purchases.

“Over the last few days, we’ve seen the true Ohio spirit emerging as neighbors help neighbors, families come together, and even strangers reach out to offer support,” said Gov. DeWine. “Hopefully, this additional assistance will help provide reassurance to struggling families.”

ODJFS will provide $150,000 in federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Disaster Assistance to each of the affected counties, to help low-income families, pregnant women and children who were adversely affected by the storms. ODJFS also will provide $25,000 in state-funded Non-TANF Disaster Assistance to each county, to help childless individuals age 55 or older and disabled individuals who were adversely affected by the storms.

“These storms arrived with an intensity and ferocity not often seen, and caused a lot of devastation,” said ODJFS Director Kimberly Hall. “We are happy to provide this assistance to families in need, to help them recover.”

The JFS agencies in Montgomery, Greene and Mercer counties will determine the specific eligibility requirements and benefits and services provided, based on local needs. Anyone who thinks they may be eligible should apply at their local JFS agency. For county agency contact information, visit jfs.ohio.gov/county.

In addition, families receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits who live in any county may be eligible to receive replacement benefits if they experienced a power outage of more than four hours and lost food as a result. To apply, families should visit their county JFS agency within 10 days of the loss. Replacement benefits may then be added to their Ohio Direction cards, in an amount not exceeding their total monthly allocation.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services manages vital programs that strengthen Ohio families. These include job training and employment services, unemployment insurance, cash and food assistance, child care, child and adult protective services, adoption, and child support services.

The Record-Herald