At a time when Americans are facing financial uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to know what resources are available to increase financial awareness and reduce stress. Work schedules and/or working conditions may change and many may find themselves unable to work during this time. These resources listed below provide contact information for financial support and strategies to assist you with managing your finances during this uncertain time.
Ohio Works First (OWF) is the financial assistance portion of Ohio's Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program. OWF was established to provide time-limited assistance to eligible families. To phone the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) about Ohio Works First, please call: 866-244-0071, TTY/TDD users can call: 866-244-0071 or benefits.gov/benefit
Assistance Programs: Ohio offers assistance programs to help low income Ohioans meet their basic needs. Programs include Medicaid, food and cash assistance, publicly funded child care, and more. Visit ohio.gov
Area Agency on Aging: Ohio offers an array of services and resources to help older adults and their families continue to grow, thrive and contribute. These services and resources are coordinated on the community level by local organizations including area agencies on aging, long-term care ombudsman programs, senior centers, employment providers and others. Call 866-243-5678 to be connected to the area agency on aging serving your community. aging.ohio.gov/FindServices
Ohio Job and Family Services: Information on the updates to unemployment law to help Ohio workers who are impacted by this pandemic. (jfs.ohio.gov)
The instruction sheet from ODJFS can be found here: odjfs.state.oh.us/forms/num/JFS00671/pdf
If you or someone you know is a bartender who is impacted by the restaurant and bar closures, the USBG National Charity Foundation offers assistance through the Bartender Emergency Assistance Program (BEAP). For more information visit usbgfoundation.org/beap
The Ohio Bar Association has provided an online resource with information regarding labor and employment laws related to the COVID-19 pandemic, available here ohiobar.org/public-resources
Small Business Resources
The Small Business Administration is offering disaster assistance loans for small businesses impacted by this pandemic. sba.gov/about-sba/sba-newsroom
Small Business Administration: Exploring and testing their capital access options sba.gov/funding-programs/loans
Small Business Administration: Free online referral tool that connects small businesses with participating SBA-approved lenders within 48 hours. sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/lender-match
The Ohio Department of Health has created a COVID-19 resource and checklist for employers and businesses. coronavirus.ohio.gov
Available Ohio Food Access Options
The challenge presented by the COVID-19 crisis may put great stress on the family food budget. Check out the Ohio Association of Food Banks at ohiofoodbanks.org or call 800-648-1176 to locate food resources in your community and also learn about statewide resources for which you may be eligible during this emergency situation.
In the face of this pandemic, the U.S. Department of Agriculture granted Ohio a waiver to allow Summer Food Service Program and National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option sponsors to continue to provide meals to students even though the schools have closed down. This includes any child who is impacted by these school closures, and in some areas anyone under the age of 18 can access this service.
- Ohio Department of Health: Online resource and checklist coronavirus.ohio.gov
- Ohio Department of Education: Student Support education.ohio.gov
- Contact your local school district to inquire about where these meal services are available in your area.
Financial Wellness Resources & Consumer Protection
For people who are facing financial uncertainty during this time, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has created an online educational resource list for consumers that provides the following helpful information.
- What to do if you lose your income during this time
- What to do if you’re having trouble paying bills during this time
- How to address consumer protection during a crisis like this
At a time when understanding our finances is vitally important, The National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) offers Smart About Money, a free and unbiased online resource that offers in-depth personal finance courses, articles, calculators and tips to help you manage your money through life's ups and downs. This portal included courses on creating an earning plan, creating an emergency plan, retirement, and more.
Be sure to check out the Smart About Money: Live Events & Transitions course at smartaboutmoney.org
Smart About Money can be found at smartaboutmoney.org
Finding Local Resources
In order to see what resources, information, and possibly aid is available in your area, visit your local city, county, and government websites for more information. The information available will change regularly during this global pandemic, so it is recommended to check regularly to stay up-to-date on what’s available in your area.