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Financial assistance programs Ohio.

You can obtain help, grants and financial assistance in all counties and cities located in Ohio listed below, including Columbus and Cleveland. In addition to the programs offered by the state listed below, find organizations and charities in Ohio that can provide help with paying bills, address employment needs and pay for other expenses such as rent.

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS)
This agency offers a wide range of assistance to Ohio residents. Help provided by the state includes unemployment compensation, cash assistance and grants, health care aid, food assistance, child care support, and training and unemployment assistance. Additional programs offered include those listed below.

Mortgage Help and Foreclosure Prevention
Ohio has programs that can help you with paying your mortgage and also avoid foreclosure. Services are offered in your local town and county. Read more on Ohio mortgage assistance.

In addition, the state also offers a voluntary mediation program. This will ensure homeowners and their banks communication in an effort to resolve the crisis.

There are also numerous non-profit HUD approved housing agencies. Counselors can direct homeowners to various programs and solutions that are available to them. Some programs and resources are free. Click here for information on HUD housing counseling in Ohio.

Child Care
ODJFS also offers financial assistance to eligible, low income needy parents to help the parents pay for child care expenses and bills while they engage in work and/or training efforts. Income requirements are in place in order to receive this child care support. (877) 852-0010, or more on child care assistance in Ohio.

Ohio's Best Rx
This aid program provides a discount pharmacy card which will help with paying prescription bills. It is offered to residents of Ohio, regardless of income. Call 1-866-923-7879. Also find additional ways to get medical bill assistance from the program.

Ohio Healthy Families
This is a free health insurance care program for lower income families in Ohio. It will provide coverage and help with paying bills and health care costs. 1-800-324-8680.




Ohio Healthy Start
A free health insurance plan for children under the age of 19 and pregnant women.

Community Clinics
Various clinics in Ohio provide either free or low cost medical and health care. The assistance is for the low income or uninsured. Find more information on free clinics in Ohio.

Not only do clinics offer health care, but several non-profits across Ohio also offer dental services, such as cleanings, check ups and more. Read more on Ohio dental clinics.

Patients who are uninsured or that have limited health insurance coverage can turn to government and non-profits for their health care. Several resources are available and can provide assistance such as prescription medication, check ups, medical care for children, and more. Click for more on Ohio uninsured health care.

Cash Assistance for bills, rent, and expenses
The state of Ohio offers two types of cash assistance grants that can help people pay bills and debt. The Ohio Works First (OWF) and the Disability Financial Assistance (DFA). Ohio Works First will provide time-limited monthly cash assistance to eligible families. It will also provide activities to assist people with finding long term employment. There are also rent assistance programs in Ohio.

The Disability Financial Assistance Program provides a monthly cash assistance benefit to needy, eligible, or disabled individuals without minor children. Cash assistance can be used for various reasons, including to help pay bills, housing costs or debt. (614) 466-4815

Food Stamps
Our nation's primary food assistance program is managed by the Ohio agency known as The Request for Ohio Works First.

Crisis Assistance
One of the leading non-profits to call in Ohio is the Salvation Army. Programs help with a variety of needs. Get assistance with rent, medications, energy bills, gasoline, and much more. Funding is limited, but services are available. Read more Ohio Salvation Army.





Emergency Food Assistance
Emergency food assistance is provided by local nonprofit agencies, such as pantries. Groceries, emergency food boxes, meals, and other aid is distributed. To be eligible for emergency food assistance, your family income must meet certain thresholds.

Assistance on Phone Bills
Consumers that meet low income guidelines can receive a monthly discount on their bill, and this includes cellular (or wireless) as well as home phones. In some cases a credit can be applied to the connection fee that is due as well. Click here Ohio Lifeline telephone program.

Child Support
If you have a child support order that was issued in Ohio and you lose your job through no fault of your own, or if you have a substantial salary cut, you have the right to request a review of your child support order from your enforcement agency. The CSEA will review and consider your case, and it will present a recommendation for a possible adjustment to your monthly child support payments. 1800-686-1556.

Ohio Housing Assistance Vouchers
Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the state of Ohio offer subsidies for paying rent as part of section 8. The main clients tend to be very low income families with children, senior citizens, and the disabled in the state of Ohio. Find more details on HUD section 8 vouchers in Ohio..

Help with Dental Bills
Dental OPTIONS is a program offered by dentists in Ohio in which they will provide patients with reduced fees, or even free dental care. Continue with Dental Options.

Disability Programs and Resources
Individuals in Ohio with a disability can get assistance from the state. Several government benefits can assist with needs including health care, transportation, financial assistance, and home care. Services for the disabled are extensive and wide ranging. Find Ohio disability benefits.

Legal Aid
Low and moderate income individuals can get free legal representation and advice. There are several Ohio organizations that provide this service. More information on free legal aid in Ohio.

Homeless Prevention and Eviction Programs
Using funds from Emergency Solutions Grant and other resources, Ohio non-profits provide assistance to prevent evictions or utility disconnection. Funds can help pay rent and housing costs. The homeless can receive grants to pay a security deposit for low income housing or apartments. Continue with eviction help in Ohio.

Help Get Out of Debt and Credit Services
Credit counseling and non-profit housing organization can help Ohio individuals eliminate their medical and credit card debts. Many centers can also provide assistance with home loans and foreclosure services. The non-profits have offices across the state. Find Ohio credit counseling agencies.







Training and Employment Assistance
ODJFS also manages a network of over 90 locally operated “One-Stop Centers” in 20 areas throughout Ohio. The One-Stop Center provide free job training, advice, grants, and various other employment services to Ohioans looking for work. The center will help match job seekers with those businesses that are looking to hire workers, and it will also help laid-off workers learn new skills, find new jobs, provide counseling and give advice to help them through difficult times. 1-888-296-7541. Or find locations and read more on Ohio job programs.

If you can’t afford health insurance, you may be eligible for Medicaid, the federal- and state-funded health care grant program for eligible families or individuals with low income. Medicaid will provide access to health care services for pregnant women, children, families with children younger than 19, people with disabilities, and also adults 65 and older who meet certain financial requirements.

Senior Assistance Programs in Ohio
Individuals age 50 and older may be able to receive help from the Department of Aging in Ohio. A number of offices provide services. Locate resources such as food, home delivered meals, energy bill help, medications, and much more. Click here senior care from Ohio Agency on Aging.

Social Services and Government Emergency Aid
Families who are struggling with meeting their basic needs may qualify for help from the Ohio Family Services. Financial assistance can help pay bills and expenses. Services can provide housing, energy bill help, food, medical bill assistance, and additional resources. Read more Ohio Public assistance.

Ohio Energy Company Programs
Low income families may receive financial assistance from non-profit agencies in their county. However, in addition to those, most utility and gas companies in Ohio offer their own emergency grant, payment plans and conservation programs. More details on energy bill help in Ohio.

Tenant Rent Information Line
The Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio operates this. It provides information on tenant rights and responsibilities. A focus is on families with children, immigrants, and single moms or dads that are struggling with housing. Read more COHHIO programs.

Food Distribution Centers
Many counties have non-profits and programs that distribute free food, and you can find them in the county list below. Ohio residents can also turn to pantries and food banks. More on Ohio food banks.

Employment Services, Grants, and Education
If you are struggling to increase your income, find a job, or to pay your bills, then a community action agency may be able to help. Case managers help people address a crisis and they assist clients with long term self-sufficiency. Locate a local Ohio community action agency.

Assistance From Ohio Cities and Counties

Adams County (West Union)

Allen County (Lima)

Ashtabula County (Jefferson)

Athens County

Auglaize County (Wapakoneta)

Belmont County (Saint Clairsville)

Brown County (Georgetown)

Butler County (Hamilton)

Carroll County (Carrollton)

Champaign County (Urbana)

Clark County (Springfield)

Clermont County (Batavia)

Clinton County (Wilmington)

Coshocton County






Crawford County (Bucyrus)

Cuyahoga County (Cleveland)

Darke County (Greenville)

Defiance County

Delaware County

Erie County (Sandusky)

Fairfield County (Lancaster)

Fayette County (Washington Court House)

Franklin County (Columbus)

Fulton County (Wauseon)

Geauga County (Chardon)

Greene County (Xenia)

Hamilton County (Cincinnati)

Hancock County (Findlay)

Hardin County (Kenton)

Henry County (Napoleon)

Hocking County (Logan)

Holmes County (Millersburg)

Knox County (Mount Vernon)

Lake County (Painesville)

Lawrence County (Ironton)

Liking County (Newark)

Logan County (Bellefontaine)

Lorain County (Elyria)

Lucas County (Toledo)

  • Rent assistance in Toledo and Lucas County. More.

Madison County (London)





Mahoning County (Youngstown)

Marion County (Marion)

Medina County

Montgomery County (Dayton)

Morgan County (McConnelsville)

Muskingum County (Zanesville)

Perry County (New Lexington)

Portage County (Ravenna)

Preble County (Eaton)

Richland County (Mansfield)

Ross County (Chillicothe)

Sandusky County (Fremont)

Scioto County (Portsmouth)

Seneca County (Tiffin)

Shelby County (Sidney)

Snohomish County

Stark County (Canton)

Summit County (Akron)

  • Additional rent help in Summit County. Read more.

Trumbull County (Warren)

Tuscarawas County (New Philadelphia)

Union County (Marysville)

Van Wert County

Warren County (Lebanon)

Washington County (Marietta)

Wayne County (Wooster)

Wood County (Bowling Green)

Ohio Help with Utility, Energy, and Heating Bills

Ohio Fuel Fund Grant Program
Almost 50,000 FirstEnergy Corp. utility customers who live in in northern and central Ohio can receive financial assistance with their utility bills. A total of $8.5 million in aid will be provided. More details on the Ohio Fuel Grant program.

Ohio Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)
A program that is funded by the federal government, but is administered by the Ohio Department of Development, Office of Community Service ( OCS). This assistance program was designed to help eligible low-income Ohioans with paying the high costs of home heating bills. If you are eligible for aid, the amount of the one-time HEAP benefit paid to you will depend on federal funding levels, your total household income, how many people live with you, and also the primary fuel source you use to heat your home.

Summer Crisis Program
The Office of Community Services (OCS) also funds this program, which is the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) - Summer Crisis Program (SCP). The Summer Crisis Program (SCP) helps qualified households pay for their summer cooling bills. This program applies to electric utilities only and provides help from July 1 through August 31.

Dollar Energy Fund
This heating and utility bill assistance program will provide cash grants and other forms of assistance to those customers who have received a disconnect notice. Read more on the Dollar Energy Fund.

Operation Round Up
About half of Ohio's electric cooperatives participate in this program. This assistance program supports food banks, health and rescue organizations, utility bill help, child care programs, educational projects that benefit students in our local schools, and families and individuals with special needs are just some of the organizations that are aided with Operation RoundUp donations. Learn how how Operation Round Up helps.

Ohio Energy Credit (OEC) Program
Provides additional assistance to senior citizens, as well as the disabled. They will receive an increased Energy Assistance benefit beyond what they would receive under the standard HEAP aid plan.

Patriot Plan
A utility bill assistance program that helps military families and veterans. It provides protections and benefits to military personnel as well as their families and it can assist customers with maintaining utility service. Under this military assistance plan, Ohio’s electric and natural gas utilities can’t disconnect the residential utility service of any National Guardsman  or military reservist for nonpayment of their utility bill.





Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP)
Ohio’s electric and gas utilities need to participate in the statewide PIPP plan. Consumers that are struggling, and low-income customers who heat with natural gas, will pay a percent of their monthly income to their gas company and a percent to their electric company. The amount paid can be as low as 3 percent.

The Electric Partnership Program (EPP) is a component of this plan and it will help Ohio residents save energy through conservation advice and methods, such as additional insulation, efficient appliances, and other improvements.

Winter Reconnect Program
Most households in Ohio that have either been disconnected or are threatened with utility service disconnection due to nonpayment of a utility or heating bill can have their service restored during the winter months by paying either the total amount they owe or $175, whichever is less. They also need to pay a small reconnection fee. Continue with Ohio reconnection assistance.

Most utilities have this program. It is designed to assist those in need with heating bills during the winter season.

By Jon McNamara

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