Overview
Welcome to the Butler County Department of Job and Family Services Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). In this page you will find answers to commonly asked questions regarding our agency, programs, and policies. The FAQs are arranged alphabetically by topic. Just below the name of the topic you will find quick links to each topic's FAQs. Simply click on a question and you will be directed to its answer.

If you do not find the answer to your question in the information provided, you may contact us with your question and one of our staff members will respond.


Applying for Assistance/Your Right to Apply

Quick Links (click on the question to be directed to the answer)

What type of programs/services exist?
The Butler County Department of Job and Family Services (BCDJFS) develops and oversees programs that help people. These programs include help with:

  • cash
  • food
  • health care
  • child support
  • training and jobs
  • child care

Local agencies manage these programs in each county. These agencies include:

  • the local county Department of Job and Family Services (DJFS). Some people call it the welfare department.
  • the local county Public Children Services Agency (PCSA). Some people call it the children services board.
  • the local county Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA).

In some counties, the PCSA or CSEA is part of the DJFS. The phone numbers and addresses for these agencies are in the phone book under "Government Offices - County."

You have the right to apply for help from these county agencies. The local county agency will decide, based on the law, what help you can get. It will arrange for the services or other help you need.

The local county agency uses federal and state laws to see if you can get help. To learn more, ask your county agency for ODHS booklet 8033 - A Program Guide.

What kind of help can I get?
The help you can get from local county agencies includes:

  • Ohio Works First. Ohio Works First replaces:
    • Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
  • Health care coverage:
    • Medicaid
    • Healthy Start (Children & Pregnant Women)
    • Expedited Medicaid (Pregnant Women)
  • Food Assistance
  • Disability Assistance (DA)
  • Child care services
  • Learning, Earning and Parenting (LEAP)
  • Refugee Resettlement, including help with cash, health care and social services
  • Title XX services
  • Pregnancy Related Services (PRS)
  • Title IV-E services are offered by Children Services. For more information please refer to the Children Services web site.

You can apply for many of these programs at the local DJFS.

You may also apply for Health Start or Expedited Medicaid at:

  • Application for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) clinics
  • Employment services
  • Workforce Investment Act (WIA)

The application can also be sent to you by request when you contact the Medicaid Consumer Hotline at 1-800-324-8680 or TDD at 1-800-292-3572.

How do I apply for help?
To get help, you need to apply at the local county agency.

You can pick up an application form at the agency or have the agency mail it to you. The type of form you get depends on what kind of help you apply for.

Fill out as much of the form as you possibly can. If you need to, you can have a friend or relative help you fill out the form. A caseworker at the local county agency can also help you fill it out.

Be sure to sign and date the form. Signing the form means you are giving true and correct information as best as you know.

Return the form to the local county agency in person or by mail as soon as you can. If you can, turn it in the day you get it. Often, the starting date for help will be the same as the day you turn in your form.

What if I need help with applying for services?
You may need someone to be your authorized representative. An authorized representative is a person who can apply for some kinds of help for you. He or she can also act for you.

You can name your husband or wife as your authorized representative. You can name a relative or friend you trust. You can also name a lawyer or a hospital social worker, but you don't have to.

Your authorized representative must be 18 years old or older. You must name him or her in writing. Include what duties you want your authorized representative to take care of for you.

You can change your authorized representative at any time.

When are walk-in hours?
We open at 7:00am and close at 5:00pm. You can see a case worker if you have your paperwork completed and time-stamped before 11:00am.
If you come in after 11:00am you will be given an appointment letter to return on a different day.

What do I need to bring?
Below is a list of items to bring with you for some of our most common/requested forms of assistance.

To apply for Medical only for Families or just children you will need to fill out an 1138 application, which is also the application for Childcare. No face-to-face appointment is required. You will need to provide:

  • Your last 4 weeks of income
  • Original birth certificates
  • Social security cards
  • Fill out the affidavit provided in the 1138 for each child
  • Drivers license or ID for adults

To apply for Cash, Food Assistance or Medical (if an adult is applying for coverage without a child) you will need to fill out a 7200 application. You will need to provide:

  • Proof of rent(mortgage) & utilities
  • If you live with someone you will need to provide a statement with totals, address, phone number and signature
  • If you have a car you will need to provide a title or registration
  • If you have a bank account you will need to provide your most recent statement
  • Last 4 weeks of income , such as pay stubs, child support, workers comp, unemployment or letter from employer
  • Original birth certificates
  • Social security cards
  • Drivers license or ID

What happens after I turn in my form?
After you turn in your form, you will usually need to have a face-to-face interview at the local agency.

The agency may give you an interview the same day you bring in your form. Or, the agency may give you a time to come back. If you return your form by mail, the agency will tell you when to come in for your interview.

The agency must schedule your interview within five working days after the day you turn in your form.

If you are ONLY applying for Healthy Start or Expedited Medicaid, you don't need a face-to-face interview.

You can bring other people, such as your authorized representative, to the interview. If you can't come to the agency, your authorized representative can come to the interview for you. Or your caseworker may be able to come to your home for the interview.

During your interview, your caseworker will tell you if you need to bring in any items to get help. For example, you may need to bring in a birth certificate or proof of your address. Your caseworker will tell you about the help you are trying to get. He or she will also tell you what you must do to get help.

For example, if you get Ohio Works First, usually you may be required to participate in a job program and cooperate with child support requirements.

If you get or try to get any help, you must tell the agency about any changes that might affect your case. Report your changes within 10 calendar days. Some examples of changes are:

  • a pregnancy.
  • a change of address.
  • a change in income, including getting or losing a job.
  • anyone moving into or out of your home.
  • a child becoming 18 years old.
  • lost or stolen checks, food stamps, health cards or ID cards.

What happens to the information I bring in?
The information you give your county agency is private.

The local agency or ODHS may check the information you give. For example, the local agency might use your Social Security number and contact other agencies or people. This is done:

  • to make sure your information is correct.
  • to make sure you qualify for help

Warning
You might get help you should not get:

  • if you don't tell the truth about yourself.
  • if you don't tell about changes that affect your case. Report your changes within 10 calendar days.

If you get help you should not have gotten:

  • you might have to pay it back.
  • you might be charged with fraud.
  • you might be fined or sent to prison.
  • you might be stopped from getting help in the future.

To learn more, ask your caseworker for ODHS brochure 8100 - Ohio is Cracking Down on Welfare Fraud.

What happens after I apply?
After you apply for help, the local agency will see if you can get help. You may need to give the agency more information before it can decide.

If the agency asks you for more information, try to bring it in right away. The agency needs the information before it can help you. If you don't give the local agency the information it needs, it can't help you. If you have trouble getting the information, ask the agency for help.

The agency must decide if you can get help within a certain amount of time. The amount of time depends on the kind of help you get.

Medicaid
If you can get help, you will get a medical card a few days after you turn in:

  • your signed and dated application form.
  • all the information the agency needed.

Food Assistance, Title XX Social Services, Child Care or Healthy Start
The local county agency must decide within 30 days of the day you turn in your form.

Emergency Food Assistance
The agency might be able to get food assistance to you within 24 hours after getting your form:

  • if you or your family have little or no food, or
  • if you or your family have little or no income.

Ohio Works First, Medicaid, Disability Assistance (DA) or Refugee Resettlement
The local agency must decide within 45 days of the day you turn in your form. ODHS might need to decide if you are disable and can get Medicaid or DA. If so, the agency must tell you within 90 days what ODHS decides.

What do I do if I have a problem or a question?
Any time you have a problem or a question about any help you get, ask your caseworker. You can also talk to your caseworker's supervisor. Then, if you still have problems or questions, you can call your ODHS district office. Find the phone number for your county's district office below.

Canton District Office, 1-800-686-1569 or 330-438-0601
TDD/TTY 330-438-0691 (if you have a hearing or speech problem)
Serves these counties: Athens, Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Coshocton, Guernsey, Harrison, Hocking, Holmes, Jefferson, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Stark, Tuscarawas, Washington

Cincinnati District Office, 1-800-686-1571 or 513-852-3143
TDD/TTY 513-621-8005 (if you have a hearing or speech problem)
Serves these counties: Butler, Champaign, Clark, Clermont, Clinton, Darke, Greene, Hamilton, Miami, Montgomery, Preble, Warren

Cleveland District Office, 1-800-686-1551 or 216-787-5165
TDD/TTY 216-787-3614 (if you have a hearing or speech problem)
Serves these counties: Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Summit, Trumbull, Wayne

Columbus District Office, 1-800-686-1568 or 614-752-9520
TDD/TTY 614-728-8442 (if you have a hearing or speech problem)
Serves these counties: Adams, Brown, Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Knox, Lawrence, Licking, Logan, Madison, Meigs, Morrow, Pickaway, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Union, Vinton

Toledo District Office, 1-800-686-1572 or 419-245-2494
TDD/TTY 419-245-2773 (if you have a hearing or speech problem)
Serves these counties: Allen, Ashland, Auglaize, Crawford, Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Huron, Knox, Lucas, Marion, Mercer, Morrow, Ottawa, Paulding, Putnam, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca, Shelby, Van Wert, Williams, Wood, Wyandot

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Child Care Assistance

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What is Child Care Assistance?
Child care services are provided to children of eligible parents in order to support their work and training efforts and assist families toward self-sufficiency. The goal of the child care delivery system in Butler County is the provision of quality, dependable child care in homes and centers. The Butler County Department of Job and Family Services (BCDJFS) determines eligibility for child care services and assist parents in locating certified homes or licensed centers.

Where are child care services provided?
Child care services are provided to children in certified homes or licensed centers. Providers in certified homes may care for up to six children. These homes are inspected by staff from the BCDJFS and certified when all requirements are met. Child care centers are licensed for certain numbers and age groups of children by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) and are inspected for compliance with licensing requirements.

Who can get child care benefits?
Families whose income falls below 185% of the federal poverty level can receive payment for part of monthly child care expenses that are provided by a certified or licensed child care provider. The provider receives payment from the BCDJFS for approved periods of child care.

What needs to be verified?
At the time of application income, household members and employment information must be verified. Changes in income or employment status must be reported.

How often is eligibility reviewed?
A review of eligibility requirements is conducted every 6 months.
Note: This is only basic information. An accurate determination of eligibility for child care services requires the completion of an application process through the local BCDJFS.

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Disability Assistance (DA)

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What is DA?
DA stands for Disability Assistance. Ohio's Disability Financial Assistance Program is a safety net for needy individuals who do not meet all the eligibility requirements necessary to receive help from other federal and state benefit programs, such as Supplemental Security Income and Ohio Works First. Eligibility is determined by county department of job and family services based on Ohio Administrative Code rules.

Who is eligible?
Eligible individuals include:

Individuals who are disabled as determined by the ODJFS County Medical Services section: or Individuals who were at least 60 years and in receipt of Disability Financial Assistance in June 2003.

In order to receive assistance, the individual or family must meet all the eligibility requirements including income and resource criteria.

What is the maximum cash benefit?
Regardless of its' size, a family cannot have resources that exceed $1000. The maximum cash benefit is $115 per month for one person and; $159 per month for two people.

What other types of help exist?

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a special tax credit for working people. A tax credit usually means more money in your pocket. You may be able to receive this credit if you worked during the year.
To get this credit, you must file your income taxes. You may be able to get your taxes done for free and receive your refund within 7 to 10 days. Don’t pay to get your taxes filed! To see if you can get your taxes done at no cost, call 513-362-2860.
Getting EITC won’t change your DA or food assistance.

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Elderly Protection

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What is protection for the elderly?
The fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population is people age 60 and older. Abuse of elderly people is an important part of the increase in family violence. Statistics for State of Ohio, fiscal year 2007, show that more than 46 reports of adult abuse, neglect or exploitation are received each day.

Like other family violence, elder abuse involves all backgrounds and cultures. It happens all over Ohio. It is rarely confined to a single event. The average abused elderly person is:

  • 75 or older
  • living with his or her children or relatives
  • in poor physical or mental health
  • usually female

We need to recognize and focus on the problem of elder abuse to solve it. We need to conduct more studies and use more resources against it. We need to provide services to both the abused and the abuser.

Who abuses the elderly?
People often hear about elderly abuse in institutions, but only a small percent of elderly live in institutions.

Most elderly persons live independently. This may be alone, with a spouse, or with relatives.

Most families don't abandon, abuse, neglect or take advantage of their elderly relatives. But studies do point to the family as the single greatest source of elder abuse.

Daughters, sons, grandchildren or other relatives may be abusers. Physical abusers are usually male.

Psychological abusers are usually 50 or older. These relatives may have been looking forward to a time of personal freedom. They instead find themselves supplying almost constant personal and medical care to an elderly relative.

In many families where abuse happens, conflicts have existed for years. There may be a pattern of violence in the family. The parent may have treated the child badly earlier in life. These problems come to a head when family members move into the same home.

Why does abuse of the elderly happen?
Violence in the family has more than one cause. However, a major cause is being unable to handle stress. The relative who takes care of an elderly person may have several sources of stress, such as:

  • financial problems
  • divorce
  • unemployment
  • unhappiness with a job
  • being forced to give up a job or another relationship to take care of an elderly parent or relative
  • shouldering the care and costs of an elderly person at an age when the caretaker needs to plan for his or her own retirement

Stress often leads caretakers to misuse alcohol or drugs. Misuse of alcohol is often a cause of family violence. Drinking can lower a person's self-control and increase the chance of aggressive and violent behavior.

Caretakers are often torn between love and hate, between a sense of duty and a wish to be free from responsibility. They may feel guilty for not welcoming elderly relatives into their home with open arms.

Old conflicts become worse. Caretakers may complain that elderly persons don't:

  • respect family needs for privacy
  • consider family opinions
  • recognize caretakers as adults

As elderly persons become more dependent on caretakers, the chance of abuse increases. This abuse may be physical, emotional or financial. It can include neglect or exploitation.

Poor health can accompany aging and places increasing burdens on the family. Many elderly can't walk without the aid of another person or a walker. Some may need a wheelchair. Many need almost constant care and supervision and can't be left alone. The family and the caretaker begin to resent the restrictions placed on their time.

Some age-related diseases and some medicines may change personality. These changes can make the elderly person hard to care for. Some elderly may:

  • try to control the family and the caretaker
  • be demanding
  • cry or scream
  • refuse food
  • refuse to take medicine
  • throw objects
  • hit or slap

How are the elderly being abused?
Much has been written about abuse of the elderly by strangers. However, there is a higher chance that family members will:

  • give improper or little care to the elderly
  • neglect them or keep them in isolation
  • deny proper food or medical care
  • verbally abuse them
  • threaten them with nursing home placement
  • physically restrain them
  • hit or beat them
  • misuse their money or property
  • wish for their death to preserve an inheritance that will otherwise need to be spent on their care

Do the abused elderly tell anyone?
The abused elderly often are not willing to tell anyone about their situation. They may resign themselves to the abuse due to:

  • embarrassment
  • pride
  • fear
  • love for the abuser
  • a belief that living in an institution is the only other choice

At times they do seek help. They may try to tell someone, but may not be believed. Or they may suffer from a medical condition that prevents them from understanding or clearly explaining what is happening to them.

Does anyone else usually know?
Other relatives, friends or neighbors may suspect what is happening. Some may know what is happening. But they may be afraid to become involved. Or they may not know how to report the problem.

Do some elderly abuse or neglect themselves?
Ohio statistics show more than half of all reports of elder abuse involve elderly who abuse or neglect themselves. This often happens among elderly who live alone.

The elderly person may:

  • live on an improper diet
  • refuse or be unable to eat
  • refuse to seek medical care
  • refuse or be unable to follow the orders of doctors
  • misuse alcohol or medicines
  • wish to die, consciously or subconsciously

Elderly persons may keep living alone even though it places them at risk. They may refuse or be unable to move to the home of a child or relative or to a nursing home. This presents a problem for family and friends. It is hard to decide where the rights of the elderly to choose their own lifestyles end and where the responsibility of family, friends or community begins. Although adult children are not currently legally responsible for their parents, most feel they are morally.

Who is legally responsible for reporting suspected abuse of the elderly?
Ohio law calls for certain professionals to report any elder abuse to the county department of human services (CDJFS) immediately. This includes suspicion of abuse. Here is a listing of these professionals from Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Section 5101.61:

  • any attorney, physician, osteopath, podiatrist, chiropractor, dentist or psychologist
  • any employee of a hospital as defined in ORC Section 3701.01
  • any nurse licensed under ORC Chapter 4723
  • any employee of an ambulatory health facility
  • any employee of a home health agency
  • any employee of an adult care facility as defined in ORC Section 3722.01
  • any employee of a community alternative home as defined in OCR Section 3724.01
  • any employee of a nursing home, rest home or home for the aging, as defined in ORC Section 3721.01
  • any senior service provider
  • any peace officer, coroner, clergyman
  • any employee of a community mental health facility
  • any person engaged in social work or counseling

If any of these professionals have reason to believe that an adult is being:

  • abused
  • neglected, or
  • exploited financially

    or is in a condition which is the result of:

  • abuse
  • neglect, or
  • exploitation

the professional must immediately report such belief to the CDJFS.

You don't have to be one of these professionals to report elder abuse. If you suspect elder abuse, contact your CDJFS. Look in the phone book for "Human Services Department" under "Government Offices - County." You can also use the following link to find your local CDJFS: http://jfs.gov/county/cntydir.stm. The CDJFS investigates all reports, even if you don't give your name.

You can report elder abuse by phone, in person, or in writing. If possible, include:

  • the name, address and approximate age of the elderly person
  • the name and address of anyone responsible for the elderly person's care
  • the reason you suspect abuse, neglect or exploitation
  • the nature and extent of suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation
  • any other information known

If you (truthfully) report elder abuse, you are immune from civil and criminal liability under Ohio law. You are still liable for perjury or for acting in bad faith or with malicious intent. An employer can't punish an employee who files a report in any way.

What happens after a report is made?
In Ohio, each county's department of human services is responsible for receiving and investigating all reports. The CDJFS must begin its investigation:

  • within 24 hours after it gets an emergency report of abuse
  • within three working days in other cases

When it finishes the investigation, the CDJFS uses its findings to decide if the elderly person needs protective services.

What are protective services?
Persons 60 or older need protective services if they are, or are suspected to be, suffering from abuse, neglect or exploitation. They must be suffering to an extent that:

  • either their lives are in danger
  • or they receive, or are likely to receive physical harm, mental pain or mental illness

Where money is available, protective services can include such services as:

  • counseling and casework services
  • medical care
  • mental health services
  • home health care
  • homemaker services
  • help with food, clothing or shelter
  • money management
  • housing-related services
  • guardianship services
  • placement services
  • legal services
  • adult day care services

The problems of the abused elderly can be medical, social, legal or a combination of these. A team approach is often the best way to solve these problems. The CDJFS may supply some services. It may arrange for community agencies to supply other services.

Protective services workers look at each elderly person's situation to decide what services to choose. Workers try to choose services that will improve the situation while giving the elderly person the most freedom possible. Putting the elderly person in an institution is usually the choice of last resort.

Professionals and concerned citizens need to work together to protect elderly at risk and help them and their families.

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Food Assistance

For Frequently Asked Questions regarding food assistance, please click the following link to be redirected to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Food Assistance Fact Sheet.

Note: The Food Assistance Fact Sheet is available to download in PDF format. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view and print PDF files, which can be downloaded for free at the Adobe web site.

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HealthChek

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When should my child get Healthchek screening services?
Newborns need regular preventive medical care. Babies should be examined at birth. After that first screening, visits usually will be scheduled when shots are needed.

Good medical care will give your child a healthy start in life. Through Healthchek, babies can get up to eight checkups in their first two years. They can begin getting shots against such diseases as polio, whooping cough, measles, rubella (German measles), mumps, diphtheria and tetanus (lockjaw).

After the second year, it is wise to have your child examined once a year. Teens also need to visit the doctor once a year for checkups.

What happens after the Healthchek screening?
After the Healthchek screening, the doctor will explain the results. If you do not understand something, feel free to ask the doctor to explain.

You can ask for a copy of the medical report. The report can be used for day care, sports programs, camps or school.

If the doctor finds your child needs more medical care, the doctor may refer you to a specialist for another checkup or treatment.

What about hearing services?
Your child's hearing will be checked during the Healthchek screening. If a problem is found, other services are covered. These may include a more complete exam, as well as hearing aids.

How can I get help with services?
The Butler County Department of Job and Family Services will give you the help you need to get a Healthchek screening and any follow-up services.

If you are in a managed care plan (MCP), you can get help from your MCP.

  • If you need help finding a doctor or dentist, another health care specialist or an MCP, the BCDJFS HealthChek coordinator can help you.
  • If you do not have a way of getting to your appointments, ask the BCDJFS HealthChek Coordinator for help with transportation. Some MCPs may also provide help with transportation.
  • If you need help making your appointments, ask your BCDJFS HealthCheK Coordinator or MCP to help you.
  • If your child needs a medical service not paid for by Medicaid, your BCDJFS HealthChek Coordinator or MCP will help you find the service at the lowest available cost.

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Healthy Start

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What is Healthy Start?
Healthy Start is a type of health insurance that helps low-income families get health care. It can help pregnant women at any age, infants, children and teens up to age 19.

This health insurance can help you with medical services you need at no cost to you. These services include routine medical care, treatment or hospitalization.

Who can Healthy Start help?
If you are pregnant and your income is low, you may be able to get Healthy Start. Children under age 19 may also be eligible. Healthy Start may be able to help you even if you or your husband work. You may be able to get Healthy Start even if you own a house or car or have other medical insurance.

What are the income limits?
Income limits for Healthy Start are much higher than they are for regular Medicaid. Your income limit depends on the size of your family, including unborn children. To learn more, call your county department of human services or the Medicaid Consumer hotline at 1-800-324-8680 (TTY/TDD for hearing impaired 1-800-292-3572).

What health services can pregnant women get?
If you are eligible for Healthy Start you can get all the services Medicaid covers. These services include:

  • Pregnancy-related medical care, such as pregnancy testing and hospital care
  • Complete pregnancy care before and after your baby is born
  • Special services to some pregnant women, such as learning good health habits and good eating habits
  • Complete preventative health care to women under age 21 through the Healthchek program
  • Care when you are sick or injured
  • Vision and dental care

How do I apply?
You can get an application at your county department of human services or by calling the Medicaid Consumer Hotline at 1-800-324-8680 (TTY/TDD for hearing impaired 1-800-292-3572). Ask to have an application mailed to you.

You will need to bring the completed and signed application form in to your county department of human services along with:

  • Proof of citizenship for each family member
  • Written proof of pregnancy
  • Proof of income
  • Proof of third party health insurance (if applicable)

Your civil rights
The Ohio Department of Human Services is a public agency which manages federal funds. Laws do not allow discrimination in managing programs that use federal funds. The types of discrimination include age, sex, race, color, national origin, religion, ancestry or disability. If you feel you have been discriminated against, send your complaint to:

Civil Rights
Office of Internal Administration
Ohio Department of Human Services
30 East Broad Street, 32nd Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43266-0423

You have a right to a state hearing
You can ask for a state hearing if you do not agree with an action or a decision on your benefits including health care. You can also ask for a state hearing if you think your county department of human services has not done something it should have.

If you are in a managed care plan (MCP), you have a right to a state hearing when:

  • You get a bill and the MCP will not pay
  • The MCP does not approve a service you and your provider asked for
  • The MCP decides to stop or lower a service already allowed To learn more about state hearings, ask your county department of human services for ODHS 4059 Explanation of State Hearing Brochure.
    For more information and answers to your questions about your HMO or regular Medicaid, call the Medicaid Consumer Hotline at 1-800-324-8680 (TTY/TDD for hearing impaired 1-800-292-3572) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

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Your Civil Rights

The section "Your Civil Rights" is divided into four sub-sections, listed below, each with their own set of Frequently Asked Questions (if applicable). You may jump to any sub-section by clicking their title below:

  1. Your Right to a State Hearing
  2. Your Civil Rights
  3. Limited English Proficiency Plan
  4. WIA Rights

Note: For a comprehensive list of your civil rights, please visit http://jfs.ohio.gov/civilrights/index.stm

Your Right to a State Hearing

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Note: The information contained here is a synopsis of your right to a state hearing. For a complete guide to your hearing rights and the process itself, please request an "Explanation of State Hearing Procedures", form JFS 04059.

What if I don't agree with what happened on my case?
You can ask for a state hearing:

  • if you don't agree with an action or decision on your case.
  • if you think the local agency has not done something it should have.

To learn more, ask your caseworker for ODHS form 4059 - Explanation of State Hearing Procedures.

What is a state hearing?
A state hearing is a meeting with you, your caseworker and an ODHS hearing officer.

At the hearing, your caseworker will explain what action the agency has taken or plans to take on your case. you will have a chance to explain why you don't agree.

You can bring other people with you to the hearing to speak on your behalf, such as friends, relatives, witnesses or an attorney.

If you need free legal help, contact your local legal aid office. If you don't know the phone number, call 1-800-589-5888 free, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. You will reach the Ohio State Legal Services Association. It can give you the phone number for your local legal aid office.

Why would I ask for a hearing?
Below are reasons you might want to ask for a hearing if you applied for help or are getting help from a county agency:

  • The agency denied your application. You think it should have been approved.
  • The agency intends to lower or stop the help you get. You don't agree.
  • You believe the amount of your benefits is wrong. The agency won't change it.
  • The agency says you have gotten more help than you should have. You don't agree, or you think the amount the agency gives is wrong.
  • You don't agree with the agency's decision to issue your benefits:
    • by vendor payment
    • by vouchers
    • through a protective payee
  • The agency says you must register for work. You think you have a good reason for being excused.
  • The doctor asked for a medical or dental service for you. ODHS has denied the service.
  • You don't agree with the level of nursing home care you have been approved for.
  • You applied for help more than 45 days ago (more than 30 days for food assistance) and have not been told if you will get help.

    Remember - sometimes there is a good reason for a delay. For example, the agency may be waiting for some information it needs. Once you know the reason for the delay, you may not want a hearing.

Note: Sometimes your case is changed due to a change in the law which affects all people in the same situation. ODHS seldom gives hearings on this kind of "automatic" benefit change. But, you can ask for a hearing if you think the change should not have been applied to you.

How do I ask for a state hearing?

If you want a state hearing, you can write or call the local agency.

You may also be able to fill out a form to ask for a state hearing. The local agency sends out a notice form if it is going to lower or stop the help you get. You can use this notice to ask for a state hearing.

The notice tells you how to ask for a state hearing by filling out the notice and sending it in. Check the mailing date on the notice. You must ask for a hearing within 90 days of that mailing date.

IF your benefits are being lowered or stopped,
AND you ask for a hearing within 15 days of the mailing date of the notice,
THEN your benefits will stay at the old amount until your hearing is decided.

You can also ask for a hearing by writing to: State Hearings, Ohio Department of Human Services, 30 East Broad Street, 31st Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43266-0423, 614-466-2724, fax: 614-728-9574. Call 614-728-2985 if you have a hearing or speech problem. Internet email address: bsh@odhs.state.oh.us.

If the hearing officer rules against you, you may have to pay back any help you should not have gotten.

Is there another way to work out a problem?
An informal conference at the county agency is often a quicker way to solve a problem. At the conference, a county worker will look over your case and can correct any mistakes. You can call the local agency to ask for a county conference. If the problem is not solved at the conference, you can still ask for a state hearing.

What happens at a state hearing?
After you ask for a state hearing, ODHS will send you a notice giving the date, time and place of the hearing.

The hearing is usually held at the local county agency. If you can't go to the agency, the hearing can be held somewhere else, possibly in your home.

At the hearing, you, your caseworker and an ODHS hearing officer will meet to talk about your case.

Your caseworker will explain the agency's action. You can explain why you don't agree. The hearing officer will listen to both sides and may ask questions to bring out all the facts. The hearing will be tape recorded.

Before and during the hearing, you may look at your case file and any other evidence the county uses. You may also look at the rules being used to decide your case. The agency will make free copies for you to help you get ready for the hearing. If you need copies, please call the agency before your hearing.

When will I find out about the hearing officer's decision?
After the hearing, the hearing officer will review your case fairly and objectively. He or she will make a decision based on:

  • the information given during the hearing.
  • whether the rules were applied correctly.

If your hearing is about food assistance, you should get a written decision within 60 days of the date you asked for a hearing. In all other programs, you should get a decision within 90 days.

What if I don't agree with the decision?
If you don't agree with the hearing decision, you can ask for an administrative appeal. The written decision from the hearing officer will tell you how to ask for an administrative appeal.

If you don't agree with the administrative appeal decision, you can ask for a judicial review. A judicial review is an appeal to a court.

SSI hearings
If you get Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you must contact your local Social Security Administration office for a hearing. Call 1-800-772-1213 for the telephone number of your local Social Security office. This is a free call.

Your DJFS can help you with your SSI hearing. To learn more, ask your caseworker for ODHS booklet 8072 - Disability Assistance and SSI-Case Management in Ohio.

Your local legal aid office also might be able to help you with your SSI hearing. If you don't know the phone number, call 1-800-589-5888, free, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. You will reach the Ohio State Legal Services Association. It can give you the phone number for your local legal aid office.

Your Civil Rights

Statement of Policy
All programs, services and benefits administered, supervised, authorized and/or participated in by the Butler County Department of Job and Family Services (BCDJFS) and contracted providers shall be operated in accordance with the nondiscriminatory provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; §504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975; and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

No person or persons shall on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age, sex or religion, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or service authorized by the BCDJFS. Persons who are receiving benefits/services under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 may not be unlawfully discriminated against on the basis of their political affiliation or belief; status as WIA participants or citizenship (for lawfully admitted immigrants, authorized to work in the United States).

The Director of the Butler County DJFS shall implement the Civil Rights Plan within the service area through the following methods:

Delegated Authority
The Butler County DJFS shall appoint a Civil Rights Coordinator. The Civil Rights Coordinator shall be responsible for monitoring the implementation of the Civil Rights Plan for the agency, including, but not necessarily limited to:

1. Receiving and, if necessary, assisting with the writing of discrimination complaints which are filed by county agency participants, clients and beneficiaries of job and family services programs. Such complaints are then referred to the ODJFS Bureau of Civil Rights for investigation and resolution.

2. Distributing civil rights pamphlets/brochures, posters and other information pertaining to civil rights laws to appropriate agency staff, beneficiaries and interested members of the public.

Complaint Policy and Procedure
The Butler County DJFS shall have in effect a complaint procedure which incorporates the elements of due process. The procedure follows the steps/process(es) identified below:

1. Any person who believes that he/she, or any specific class of persons, has been subjected to unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age, sex or religion may file a written complaint with the agency outlining the alleged discriminatory act(s) (complaints alleging sexual harassment need not be reduced to writing prior to an investigation being initiated). Written complaints are to be date stamped by the person who receives the complaint. Document receipts are to be provided to complainants who hand-deliver complaints.

2. Complaints must be filed with the agency within 180 days of the date the alleged discriminatory act or treatment occurred.

3. When complaints are received by the Butler County DJFS Civil Rights Coordinator, they shall be referred to the ODJFS Bureau of Civil Rights within three (3) business days of the date of receipt. The Bureau of Civil Rights (BCR) shall conduct its inquiry and issue its Final Report within one hundred, twenty (120) days of the date of filing of the complaint. When individuals wish to file discrimination complaints about WIA-funded programs/activities, they may choose to have their complaints investigated by the County-level individual designated for that purpose or they may file their complaint with the ODJFS Bureau for Civil Rights or they may choose to file their complaint directly with the United States Department of Labor’s Civil Rights Center.

4. Any party dissatisfied with the BCR’s Final Report will be advised of the right to file a complaint with the applicable federal agency (i.e., The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; U.S. Department of Agriculture or U.S. Department of Labor).

5. No person who has filed a complaint, testified, assisted or participated in any manner in an investigation of a complaint shall be intimidated, threatened, coerced or retaliated against.

A CIVIL RIGHTS COMPLAINT MAY BE INITIALLY FILED BY CONTACTING ANY OF THE FOLLOWING OFFICES/INDIVIDUALS: (It is recommended that individuals contact the ODJFS Bureau of Civil Rights before attempting to file their complaints directly with any of the federal agencies listed below. The reason for this is so that the filing will be with the correct agency, based upon the kind of program, service or benefit being complained about.)

1. Lana Rogers, Civil Rights Coordinator, The Butler County Department of Job and Family Services, 315 High Street, 9th Floor, Hamilton, Ohio 45011. Telephone: (513) 887-4100

2. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Bureau of Civil Rights, 30 E. Broad Street, 37th Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215. Telephone: (614) 644-2703; Toll Free: 1-866-227-6353.

3. The United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, Region V, 233 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 240, Chicago, Illinois 60601.

4. The United States Department of Agriculture (Food Assistance only), Civil Rights Office, Room 326-West, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20251.

5. The United States Department of Labor, Civil Rights Center, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Room N-4123, Washington, D.C. 20210. Telephone: (202) 219-7026.

Jerome Kearns, Director BCDJFS

Butler County Department of Job and Family Services
315 High Street, 9th Floor
Hamilton, Ohio 45011
(513) 887-4000 or Toll Free 1-800-582-4267
TTY: (513) 887-4322

Effective Date: March 7, 2002
Revised: November 17, 2003
Revised: August 4, 2004
Revised: March 17, 2005
Revised: May 5, 2005

Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Plan

Purpose
The purpose of the Limited English Proficiency plan (plan) is to provide assurances and demonstrate that customers of Butler County Department of Job and Family Services (all program areas including One Stop (WIA), Adult Protective Services, Food Stamp, Child Care, etc.) are being provided meaningful access to program information, benefits and services although the customers may be limited in the English Language Proficiency. This plan will be updated bi-yearly to refresh the assurances contained in the plan, address any changes in methods and update any changes in the LEP population utilizing the county agency.

It is understood that the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services' Bureau of Civil Rights (BCR) is charged with the duty to ensure that each county agency is in compliance with all relevant federal requirements involving applicants/recipients of program information, benefits and services who have limited English Language Proficiency (LEP).

Butler County Department Job and Family Services Policy
It is the policy of Butler County Department of Job and Family Services to provide meaningful access to all individuals applying for, participating in programs or receiving services/benefits administered by, supervised by, authorized by and/or participated in by Butler County Department of Job and Family Services, its contractors and/or vendors. Meaningful access involves Butler County Department of Job and Family Services promoting effective communication to LEP individuals seeking or receiving services, benefits or participation in programs funded in whole or in part by federal funds. This plan specifically provides necessary assurances and identifies tools being used to effectuate this policy.

WIA Rights and Complaint Procedure

For program participant, recipients, service providers, applicants, labor unions, community-based organizations or any individuals or organizations alleging a WIA based complaint: Complaints must be in writing and be signed by the complainant or by and authorized representative.

Section 188 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 prohibits any individual from being excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, subjected to discrimination under or denied employment in any organization or program receiving WIA financial assistance on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, political affiliation or belief, age disability, or (for beneficiaries only) citizenship status, as a lawfully admitted immigrant authorized to work in the United States or WIA participant status.

This policy and the procedures issued hereunder apply to participants in WIA-funded programs and activities who bring complaints of discrimination against any employee of the LWIA or sub area recipient staff. Programmatic complaints, WIA violations not related to unlawful discrimination, are to be handled under other applicable grievance or complaint procedures.

It is the policy of the recipient to assure equal opportunity for all employees and participants at all LWIAs and sub area recipient locations. Any participant or employee who believes that she or he has been discriminated against on any of the bases covered under Section 188 of the Act may file a complaint in accordance with the procedures described as follows:

FILING A DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINT
Any person who believes that he or she has been subjected to unlawful discrimination may file a complaint. It is unlawful for WIA-funded programs to discriminate against any person or class of individuals because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, political affiliation or belief, age, disability or (for beneficiaries only) citizenship status, as a lawfully admitted immigrant, authorized to work in the United States. It is also unlawful to discriminate against individuals on the basis of their WIA participant status. A complaint must be filed within 180 days of an alleged discriminatory act or treatment. Only the Director of the USDOL Civil Rights Center, for good cause shown, may extend the filing time limit.

Discrimination complaints may be filed in any of the following ways:

  • A complaint may be filed with the Butler County Department of Job and Family Services’ Equal Opportunity Officer. If an acceptable resolution is not offered and agreed to, the Complainant may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Civil Rights Center (CRC) after NINETY (90) DAYS have passed or after receipt of the unacceptable resolution, whichever is sooner, or
  • A complaint may be filed with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services’ Bureau of Civil Rights. The Bureau is located at 30 East Broad Street, 37th Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215-3414. Toll free phone: 1-866-BCR-ODJF (227-6353). BCR will conduct an investigation of the complaint and issue its Notice of Final Action within NINETY (90) DAYS of receipt of the complaint, with applicable appeal rights, or
  • A complaint may be filed directly with the U.S. Department of Labor, Civil Rights Center. CRC is located at 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Room N-4123, Washington, DC 20210. Their phone number is (202) 693-6500. If the complainant chooses the federal process, the complaint is to be sent directly to the Civil Rights Center.

Complainants shall be offered a choice of having their allegations addressed through the customary investigative process or through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). More information on this is available from your local level Equal Opportunity Officer or the ODJDFS Bureau of Civil Rights.

FILING A PROGRAMMATIC COMPLAINT
The statute of limitations for fling a programmatic complaint is ONE (1) YEAR; however, it is recommended that a written complaint be filed within 10 days of the alleged occurrence. Programmatic complaints are those which allege unfair treatment but do not charge that it is due to unlawful discrimination. The EO Officer shall be available to provide assistance to the complainant. Within 10 days after filing a complaint, an informal conference will be held. If the complaint is not resolved, the complainant will be notified in writing of his or her right to request a hearing.
Within 16 days from the date the complaint was filed, the complainant has the opportunity to request a hearing. An amendment to the original complaint must be submitted in writing at that time to:

Butler County Department of
Job and Family Services
Attention: HR Manager
315 High St.
Hamilton, OH 45011

Within 30 days after the complaint is filed, a hearing will be conducted. The complainant shall be advised, in writing, of all procedural rights. Within 60 days after the filing the complaint, a final written decision shall be rendered by the Hearing Officer, and mailed to the complainant (certified mail – return receipt requested). The decision shall include, but shall not be limited to the following:

1. The reason(s) for the decision.
2. A statement as to whether or not the local area complaint procedure, as specified in the WIA Complaint Procedure Manual, has been properly followed.
3. Notice of the right to request a review at the state recipient level (ODJFS Bureau of Civil Rights) when any party disagrees with any aspect of the Hearing Officer’s decision.

STATE LEVEL REVIEW OF THE DECISION
The parties have 10 days after the receipt of the Hearing Officer’s decision or 10 days from the date on which the decision should have been received to request a review with the:

Chief Inspector,
Ohio Department of
Job and Family Services
Bureau of Civil Rights
Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 644-2703
Ohio Relay Service: 1-800-750-0750

The Hearing Officer may uphold the local area level decision in whole or in part, or provide a hearing and a final written decision within 30 days from the date of receipt of the request for review. Conforming with delegated authority, this Hearing Officer’s decision serves as the Governor’s final decision. The Secretary of Labor investigates allegations arising through these grievance procedures when: (1) A state level decision has not been reached within 60 days of receipt of the grievance or complaint or within 60 days of receipt of the request for appeal of a local level grievance and either party appeals to the Secretary; or (2) A decision relating to a grievance or complaint has been reached and the party to which such decision is adverse appeals to the Secretary. Appeals must be submitted by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, DC 20210, Attention: ASET. A copy of the appeal must be simultaneously provided to the opposing party.

Regardless of the basis for a complaint (programmatic or discrimination), a copy of each complaint MUST BE FORWARDED to the ODJFS Bureau of Civil Rights within 10 days of the date of filing.

FILING A FRAUD ABUSE OR CRIMINAL ACTIVITY REPORT
All information and complaints alleging fraud, abuse or criminal activity shall be reported directly and immediately to the:

U.S. Department of Labor,
Office of Inspector General
200 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20210

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY IS THE LAW
It is against the law for this recipient to discriminate on the following bases: Against any individual in the United States, on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation or belief; and against any beneficiary of programs financially assisted under Title 1 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), on the basis of the beneficiary’s citizenship/status as a lawfully admitted immigrant authorized to work in the United States, or his or her participation in any WIA Title 1-financially assisted program or activity. The recipient must not discriminate in any of the following areas; deciding who will be admitted, or have access to, any WIA Title 1-financially assisted program or activity. Providing opportunities, in, or treating any person with regard to, such a program or activity.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED DISCRIMINATION
If you think that you have been subjected to discrimination under a WIA Title 1-financially assisted program or activity, you may file a complaint within 180 days from the date of the alleged violation with either; the recipient’s Equal Opportunity Officer (or the person whom the recipient has designated for this purpose); or the Director, Civil Rights Center (CRC), U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Room N-4123, Washington, DC 20210. If you file your complaint with the recipient, you must wait either until the recipient issues a written Notice of Final Action, or until 90 days have passed (whichever is sooner), before filing with the Civil Rights Center (see address above). If the recipient does not give you a written Notice of Final Action within 90 days of the day on which you filed your complaint, you do not have to wait for the recipient to issue that Notice before filing a complaint with CRC. However, you must file your CRC complaint within 30 days of the 90-day deadline (in other words, within 120 days after the day on which you filed your complaint with the recipient). If the recipient does give you a written Notice of Final Action on your complaint, but you are dissatisfied with the decision or resolution, you may file a complaint with CRC. You must file your CRC complaint within 30 days of the date on which you received the Notice of Final Action.

Your Local Workforce Investment Complaint Officer:

HR Manager
Butler County Department of Job and Family Services
315 High St
Hamilton, Ohio 45011
(513) 887-4198

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services is an equal opportunity employer. All programs operated by the Department are equal opportunity programs. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

Jerome Kearns
Assistant Director
Butler County Department of Job and Family Services
315 High St
Hamilton, Ohio 45011

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