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Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) - Food Assistance
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as Food Assistance, was designed to promote the general welfare and to safeguard the health and well-being of individuals by raising the levels of nutrition among low-income households by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. To be eligible, income must meet federal guidelines. In Ohio, Food Assistance benefits are issued by using the Ohio Direction Card, an electronic debit card.
The Food Assistance program is based upon the "Thrifty Food Plan" by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The plan is based on the diet required to feed a family of four consisting of a man and woman age 20 through 50, a child 6-8 and a child 9-11. This amount is determined by the Secretary of Agriculture. The cost of this diet is the basis for allotments for all assistance groups regardless of their actual composition.
Eligibility: The Food Assistance program requires completing an application and a interview with an caseworker. The maximum allowable resources for the applicant's Assistance Group (AG) shall not exceed $2,000, except for AG's including a member age 60 or over, resources shall not exceed $3,000. All income, including earned and unearned, must be verified prior to certification.
Six months after a face-to-face interview, clients will recieve via mail the Cash and Food Assistance Interim Report.
The following deductions can be used in the calculation of the Food Assistance allotment:
dependent care expenses
legally obligated child support paid to a non-household member.
In order to allow these deductions, however, they must be verified prior to certification. Other mandatory verifications prior to certification include:
social security for each member of the assistance group
identity of the person making the application
Those persons with little or no income at the time of the application can receive benefits on an expedited (emergency) basis. If income is zero prior to or after completing a budget, the case shall be certified for benefits within 24 hours after application. The screening unit of ACDJFS reviews applications at the point of entry for this expedited service.
Using Food Assistance Benefits at a farmers' market
The Athens Farmers Market is one of several in Ohio that accepts food assistance benefits. Using your EBT card at a farmers’ market is easy. Watch the video to learn more.
The Work Experience Program (WEP)
Those who receive Ohio Works First (OWF) cash benefits and/or Food Assistance may be required to participate in a work activity intended to help prepare them for future employment.
The Work Experience Program (WEP) provides an opportunity for individuals to acquire valuable training, skill development, work experience and possible job placement. WEP places participants in job settings with employers in the community. Work site sponsors can be government or educational organizations, nonprofit or for-profit companies.
Participants are assigned to the site for a set number of hours per month, depending on their type of assistance and other circumstances. They are not paid wages, but instead they receive public assistance during the time of their work experience.
The work site's role is to provide supervision to promote good work habits. Each month, the site reports the hours completed and comments on work behavior. If an employer wishes to become a work site please call (740) 797-2523.
Eligibility: Participants are assigned to WEP by their SPC.
Sanctions are a reality for some who participate in our assistance programs. A person can be sanctioned for failing or refusing to meet the requirements of the Food Assistance program.
For a first failure or refusal, the county agency shall deny or terminate benefits for one calendar month or until the failure or refusal ceases, whichever is longer.
For a second failure or refusal, the county agency shall deny or terminate benefits for three calendar months or until the failure or refusal ceases, whichever is longer.
For a third or subsequent failure or refusal, the county agency shall deny or terminate benefits for six calendar months or until the failure or refusal ceases, whichever is longer.
If you wish to comply with your sanction, you will need to complete this form.
In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, political beliefs, or disability.
To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). "USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
“In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, political beliefs and disability.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the agency (state or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9922 (voice), (800) 877-8339 (TTY) or (866) 377-8642 (TTY). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.