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Benefits and Assistance Resources

In Ohio, there are several state agencies that offer public benefit assistance programs for people with disabilities. Services offered and eligibility criteria vary with each program, according to the extent and type of disability and the person's income and assets. The following information provides a brief overview of the programs available. The information provided in this section does not include all services available in Ohio. Check with each state agency for a complete list of its programs and services.

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Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services

The Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services (ODADAS) oversees Ohio's addiction, prevention, treatment and recovery services system of care.

Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services (ODADAS)
280 North High Street, 12th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215-2550
Phone: 614-466-3445 or TTY 614-644-9140

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Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities

The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) provides services and supports for persons with developmental disabilities through the local county board of DD and contracted private service providers. The following programs are offered through the DODD. For more information on services, contact your county board of DD.

Waivers

DD coordinates two Home and Community Based Services programs: the Individual Options (IO) Waiver and the Level 1 Waiver. Both provide services for eligible individuals of any age with a developmental disability. For more information about these waivers, refer to the Overview of DODD Waivers section of the DODD Web site.

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Ohio Department of Education

The following programs are offered through the Ohio Department of Education (ODE).

Office of Exceptional Children - Children with Disabilities

The Office for Exceptional Children oversees school districts and other educational programs to help improve results for students with disabilities (special education for children of school age) and students identified as gifted.

Ohio Department of Education
Office of Exceptional Children
25 South Front Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215-4183
Phone: 877-644-6338 or TTY 888-886-0181

Office of Early Learning and School Readiness

The Office of Early Learning and School Readiness oversees services for children in the early intervention and pre-school settings. This includes children who are at risk of developmental delays or have been identified as having a disability.

Ohio Department of Education
Office of Early Learning and School Readiness
25 South Front Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215-4183
Phone: 877-644-6338 or TTY 888-886-0181

Food and Nutrition

Food and Nutrition services provides financial support, resources, and training for the preparation of nutritious meals in schools.

Ohio Department of Education
Food and Nutrition Services
25 South Front Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215-4183
Phone: 877-644-6338 or TTY 888-886-0181

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Ohio Department of Health

The following programs are offered through the Ohio Department of Health (ODH).

Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps (BCMH)

The Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps (BCMH) program helps to determine the early identification of children with disabling conditions and the treatment of those children by appropriate health care providers through the program's diagnostic, treatment, and service coordination services.

Ohio Department of Health - BCMH
246 N. High Street, P.O. Box 1603
Columbus, Ohio 43216-0118
Phone: 614-466-1700 or 1-800-755-4769

Dental OPTIONS

Dental OPTIONS (Ohio Partnership To Improve Oral health through access to Needed Services) is a program offered by ODH in partnership with the Ohio Dental Association that assists Ohioans with special health care needs and/or financial barriers to obtain dental care.

Help Me Grow

Ohio Help Me Grow is an early childhood initiative (birth through two years of age) made up of three programs: Welcome Home provides home visits to new parents, Ohio Early Start provides services to children who are at risk for further developmental difficulties, abuse, or neglect, and Early Intervention provides services for early identification and family-centered services for children with developmental delay or disabilities.

Ohio Department of Health - Bureau of Early Intervention Services
246 N. High Street, P.O. Box 118
Columbus, Ohio 43216-0118
Phone: 614-644-8389

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Ohio Department of Job and Family Services

The following programs are offered through the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS). In addition to the services listed below, see ODJFS' list of services for families.

Healthy Start, Healthy Families

Healthy Start, Healthy Families provides free and low-cost health coverage for families, children (up to age 19) and pregnant women with limited income. For more information, contact your local Department of Job and Family Services or call 1-800-324-8680 or TTY 1-800-292-3572.

Ohio Home Care Waiver Program (Medicaid)

The Ohio Home Care Waiver Program is Medicaid's integrated program of home care services for persons with disabilities that is administered by ODJFS. The program consists of four benefit packages: (1) The Core Benefit Package, (2) the Core Plus Benefit Package, (3) the Waiver Benefit Package, and (4) the Transitions Waiver. For more information, contact your local Department of Job and Family Services or call 614-466-6742.

Ohio Medicaid

ODJFS is Ohio's Medicaid Program.

Kinship Permanency Incentive

The Kinship Permanency Incentive offers financial support for qualified kinship caregivers. The program applies only to caregivers who took custody of a child after July 1, 2005. The program was created to encourage grandparents and other relatives to accept custody of an abused or neglected child in their family. For more information, contact your local Department of Job and Family Services.

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Ohio Department of Mental Health

The Ohio Department of Mental Health provides services for children and adults with mental health disorders.

Ohio Department of Mental Health
30 East Broad Street, 8th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43266-0414
Phone for consumers and families: 877-275-6364 or TTY 888-636-4889
All other calls: 614-466-2596 or TTY 614-752-9696

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Ohio Department of Youth Services

The Ohio Department of Youth Services oversees the rehabilitation system and programs for youth offenders.

Ohio Department of Youth Services
51 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-466-4314

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Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission

The Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission (RSC) provides vocational rehabilitation services to help people with disabilities become employed and independent. The following programs are offered through the RSC.

Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation (BVR)

Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation (BVR) provides services leading to and supporting employment for people with physical, mental and emotional disabilities.

Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission
Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation
400 E. Campus View Blvd., SW3A
Columbus, Ohio 43235-4604
Phone: 800-282-4536, ext. 1438 (in Ohio only) or 614-438-1438 or TTY 614-785-5048

Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired (BSVI)

Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired (BSVI) provides services leading to and supporting employment for people who have low vision and blindness.

Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission
Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired
400 E. Campus View Blvd, SW3A
Columbus, Ohio 43235-4604
Phone: 800-282-4536 ext. 1438 (in Ohio only) or 614-438-1438 or TTY 614-785-5048

Division of Disability Determination (DDD)

Division of Disability Determination (DDD) is responsible for determining medical eligibility for Ohioans in relation to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. BDD federally regulated by the Social Security Administration.

Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission
Division of Disability Determination
P.O. Box 359001
Columbus, Ohio 43235-9001
Phone: 800-282-4536 ext. 1438 (in Ohio only) or 614-438-1438 or TTY 614-785-5048

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Other State and Federal Resources

In addition to services offered by state agencies, the following are state and federal programs may also offer health benefits or financial assistance to people with disabilities.

  • Benefits.gov: Provides online access to government benefit and assistance programs.
  • Find a Health Center: An online search tool provided by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for finding federally-funded health centers that provide services even if a person does not have health insurance.
  • Foundation for Health Coverage Education: Provides information about insurance and government benefits for each state, including an on-line eligibility tool, access to a help-line, and a quick-reference guide to public and private health care options.
  • Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP): Provides one-time financial assistance to help eligible low-income Ohioans meet the high costs of home heating. The program is administered by the Ohio Department of Development, Office of Community Service.
  • Internal Revenue Service: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has written many publications about tax benefits and credits for children and adults with disabilities.
  • National Center for Benefits Outreach and Enrollment: Helps organizations enroll seniors and younger adults with disabilities who have limited means into benefits programs.
  • Ohio Benefit Bank: A web-based, counselor-assisted program that connects low and moderate income Ohioans with free income tax preparation and access to public benefits.
  • Ohio Here To Help: Purpose of website is to help Ohio's unemployed workers learn more about programs and resources available to them, from both the government and the private sector. The site is managed by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
  • Resource Guide for Serving Refugees with Disabilities: A guide for caseworkers and advocates who serve refugees with disabilities. Written by the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Refugee Resettlement.
  • State of Ohio American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: Individual Ohioans can receive direct assistance from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, such as food assistance, COBRA subsidy, Medicaid and more.
  • Services for Victims: The Ohio Attorney General's Office administers this program. If your disability is due to a criminal act, you might qualify for monetary compensation.

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Links updated February 2013