Public Benefits Assistance: Application & Eligibility

Navigating life’s challenges is difficult enough. We’re here to make finding help for basic needs simple. Learn how to apply for cash, food and/or medical assistance and get started today. Cases are processed in the order they are received, so it is important to start the process as soon as possible.

Public assistance applications can take up to 30 days to complete. If you need immediate food, clothing, housing or medical help, please view these other resources:

How to apply

According to Stark County Job & Family Services, you can complete the following process to apply for assistance:

1) Submit an application

You can apply for assistance using any of the methods below:

Printed applications should be submitted to Stark County Job & Family Services.

2) Gather relevant documents

During the application process, you will need to verify your identity, citizenship, social security, residency, income and living expenses. A representative from Stark County Job & Family Services will help determine the documentation required.

3) Complete the interview

You will receive a letter with an appointment for a phone interview with a caseworker. This conversation is the last step in securing your benefits and typically happens within two weeks of your application.

Who is eligible?

Cash assistance

  • Eligibility is based on a family’s income and the number of people living in the home
  • Adults must be employed and meet the JOBS Self-Sufficiency Program requirements
  • Individuals are only eligible to receive assistance for 36 months, unless a proven hardship is identified

Food assistance

  • Benefits are available for both individuals and families
  • Eligibility is based on family size, income, resources and expenses
  • Healthy people under the age of 60 may have to participate in a work activity

Medicaid and medical assistance

  • Coverage is available for pregnant women, children in foster care, income-eligible parents and their children up to age 20
  • Stark County residents of any age with proven disabilities may also qualify for Medicaid
  • Uninsured individuals at or below 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Level may qualify for assistance if they have no limiting physical factors