Cuyahoga County Job and Family Services receives guidance to extend food and cash assistance recertifications and postpone Medicaid renewals
(Plain Press, April 2020) New guidance from the State of Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) and the Ohio Department of Medicaid, issued because of the Coronavirus pandemic, will allow Cuyahoga County to extend recertification periods and reporting periods for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Ohio Works First (OWF), and Medicaid.
Under Section 2302 of H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the US Department of Agriculture has granted Ohio a SNAP Waiver on Extending Recertification Periods and Periodic Reporting (Interim Reports) through May 31, 2020. To align the policy among SNAP and OWF, ODJFS will also extend certification periods for households receiving OWF, including child-only assistance groups.
SNAP benefits for households scheduled to expire in March, April and May 2020, are being extended 6 months until September, October and November 2020. Assistance groups with Interim Reports due in March, April or May 2020 will have due dates extended until after May 2020.
Additionally, ODJFS has established the temporary procedure for county Job and Family Service agencies to accept verbal signatures over the telephone to maintain compliance with the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC), which require the SNAP Employment and Training (E&T) program employability plan to be signed as well as the Ohio Works First/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Sanction Compliance Agreement.
The Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) has issued guidance that county Job and Family Service agencies suspend Medicaid renewals for a period of 180 days. Medicaid coverage will not be lost because the renewal process was not able to be completed.
“The adjustment of these procedures will allow Cuyahoga Job and Family Services (CJFS) to focus efforts on processing new Medicaid applications and prevent closures and delays on much needed food assistance for the residents of Cuyahoga County,” stated Kevin Gowan, Administrator for Cuyahoga Job and Family Services.
Individuals affected by these temporary changes to procedure will be notified by mail. There is no need to call the Eligibility Contact Center to renew Medicaid benefits or to recertify SNAP and OWF benefits. New applications for SNAP, OWF, and Medicaid can be submitted online at www.benefits.ohio.gov. The Eligibility Contact Center at 1-844-640-OHIO (6446) is available to apply for SNAP, OWF and Medicaid and to report changes to existing cases such as change of income, adding or removing people from a household, etc.
For additional information, follow CJFS on Facebook and Twitter, as social media is being used to provide more frequent updates, information on accessing benefits through self-service options and information in various languages. The CJFS website also provides information regarding process changes and resources related to COVID-19.