Starting March 2024, Ohio residents receiving food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will once again participate in annual re-certification interviews. This marks a shift from the past year, where a federal waiver allowed counties to opt-out of interviews due to pandemic impacts.
“To assist counties in transitioning to post-pandemic program operations, the federal government created a waiver allowing them to opt out of recertification interviews,” said Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Director Matt Damschroder. “Beginning in March, all Ohioans receiving SNAP benefits will return to the normal practice of participating in an interview as part of their recertification.”
Why You Should Re-Apply For SNAP Benefits in Ohio
The past year has been about adjusting to a new normal, explained Makell Baccus, Deputy Assistant Director of Montgomery County’s Family Assistance Division. The waiver provided flexibility during post-pandemic transitions, but now it’s time to return to standard procedures.
These interviews ensure ongoing program eligibility and help tailor benefits to individual needs. They typically occur around 12 months after enrollment and involve verifying income and other relevant information. While waived during the pandemic, other re-certification checks like identity verification remained in place.
Baccus emphasizes that no immediate action is required by SNAP recipients. Officials will reach out when it’s time for your interview, she clarifies. “Think of it as a regular check-in to ensure continued support.”
This shift aligns with Ohio’s broader move towards normalizing SNAP operations. “The program helps thousands of families across the county access essential groceries,” notes Baccus, highlighting the crucial role of SNAP in tackling food insecurity. In January 2024, over 79,000 residents, representing 40,000 households, depended on SNAP benefits in Montgomery County. While lower than the pandemic peak of 81,744 in May 2020, the numbers underline the program’s ongoing significance.
SNAP Benefits in Ohio: How to Apply?
To apply for food stamps in the state, you must reach out to the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services, which controls and administers the SNAP program in the “Buckeye State”. First, contact the ODJFS at their office located at 30 E. Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43215, United States. You can reach them by phone at 614-644-1159. For specific program inquiries, you can contact Stephon Ingram via email at [email protected].
Ensure you provide accurate information and follow the necessary steps outlined by the Department’s Office of Family Assistance, Food Programs Section.
When applying for SNAP benefits in Ohio, you will typically be asked to provide information and documentation related to various requirements. Common requirements include proof of identity, such as a driver’s license or state ID, proof of income through pay stubs or income statements, details about housing costs and utility bills, and information about household expenses. Additionally, you may need to provide social security numbers and citizenship or immigration status for all household members.