Help for Single Mothers in Ohio

Last Updated on January 30, 2024 by Lori Pace

Even though parenting can be challenging for couples, it is even more so for single mothers. This is especially true when it comes to the financial aspects of raising a child. In Ohio, it is not uncommon to find single mothers working multiple jobs to support their children. The Ohio government has created some programs to help single mothers get through difficult times. 

Ohio Works First (OWF)

The Ohio Work First Program was designed and implemented by Ohio’s TANF Program. Its purpose is to offer financial assistance to needy families that qualify for the program. This assistance is intended to last 3 years (36 months). The program requires that eligible applicants participate in work activities during the 36-month period they are participating. 

The OWF program is $483 for a three-strand family and can be issued via the Ohio Pathway Card, or directly into their bank account. Interested applicants can apply online through the Benefit Ohio platform, or they can fill out and submit the “Request For Cash, Food and Medical Assistance Form” to the respective country agency.

Food Assistance Program

This is the redesigned version formerly known as the Food Stamp Program. The program’s main goal is to help low-income Ohio residents, especially single mothers with their food. For an individual to be eligible for this program, there are certain requirements. 

The applicant must earn a monthly gross income below 130% of FPL guidelines, or approximately $26,500 for a single mother with two children. After you have been accepted into the program, you will receive your benefits on the same date of the month that you were confirmed to be eligible. Call 1-866-244-0071 or visit the Ohio Food Assistance Program website if you are interested.

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

This program (WIC) helps breastfeeding mothers, pregnant mothers, new mothers, and infants up to the age of 5 with their feeding. For this program to be available, applicants must first have a doctor certify that they are at a “nutritional risk” and then meet the income guidelines set by Ohio WIC. For more information, visit their website. You can call 1-800-755-4769 for further information.

Healthy Start Program

The Ohio government has designed this health program to assist families who are unable to afford medical insurance. This program requires that families interested in applying have at least one child under 19 years old and that their income falls within the Federal Poverty Level (133%). 

Qualified applicants will have access to medical care such as prescriptions, doctor’s visits, hospitalization, dental care, and immunizations, as well as mental health services. To apply, interested individuals can visit the Ohio Benefits website. Once they have been approved, a medical ID card will be sent to them.

State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)

Ohio Healthy Start provides medical coverage to children under the age of 19 and pregnant women who meet income eligibility requirements. For a family to qualify, they must either have a child who is not under insurance, or their income should be below 206% FPL. The Federal Poverty Level for pregnant women is 200%. Those interested in the program can use the SCHIP Portal or call 1-800-324-8680 for more information.

The Children’s Buy-in (CBI)

This program is specifically for children without insurance and lives in families that earn 300% of the FPL. This program is only available to children who have been uninsured six months prior to enrolling. The monthly premiums for this program vary depending on the family’s monthly income. For more information on the program, interested applicants can visit the online portal.

Ohio Summer Food Service

Summer Food Service Program is a federally-funded program that provides nutritious meals for free to children in low-income areas of Ohio. The program runs during the summer (Jun-Aug) when children are not in school.

For the duration of summer, all children between 1 and 18 years old are eligible for free meals at program sites. Call 1-866-3 HUNGRY (486479) for more information and to locate an SFSP near you.

Ohio Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)

The Home Energy Assistance Program helps Ohioans with low incomes pay their heating bills. The benefit is credited directly to the recipient’s fuel or utility bill.

Ohioans who have a household income below or equal to 175% of federal poverty guidelines may be eligible for this program. Priority will be given to households that have the highest home energy costs or household needs in relation to income. You can submit an application online by visiting and attaching a copy of your most recent utility bill.

For additional Information:
Call HEAP toll-free at (800) 282-0880 to contact your local HEAP provider.

Ohio Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment insurance is a program that provides wage replacements to workers who are not working. It offers temporary financial assistance to individuals who are qualified based on previous earnings while they search for a job.

Ohio offers a dependency allowance for those who meet the requirements. You can receive $530 in weekly unemployment benefits if you have two or more dependents. You can apply for UI either electronically, or by calling 1-877-OHIOJOB (1-877-644-6562) toll-free Monday through Friday (8 a.m. – 5 p.m. except for holidays).

Bottom Line About Help For Single Mothers In Ohio

There is a big variety to choose from when it comes to asking for assistance. The federal government and nonprofits work hard to support the community they are in, the best that they can. To learn more about other assistance offered to help single mothers in the state of Ohio, visit these articles:

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!