Learn How To
• Apply for Disability Assistance (DA)
• Apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
• Get help appealing an SSI denial
What Is DA?
DA stands for Disability Assistance. It is a program that offers case and help with the costs of health care. (Some people who get DA only get help with the costs of health care.) The most cash one person can usually get on DA is $115 a month.
Help with cash and the costs of health care – You may be able to get DA cash and medical help if you are:
• Disabled – This means you have a health problem that keeps you from working. This health problem could be physical or mental. It must last for at least nine months. If it lasts for less than nine months, it must be serious enough that it could lead to death. You must get information from a doctor or a clinic about your health problem. You will need to give this information to your county department of human services (CDHS). Your CDHS will give this information to the Ohio Department of Human Services (ODHS). ODHS will decide if you are considered disabled based on your information.
*Other rules may apply.
To get DA, you will need to:
• Be a citizen of the United States or a lawfully admitted alien
• Live in Ohio
• Have resources under the DA limit. The resources of other family members in your home may affect your DA case.
• Have less money coming in each month that the DA limit. Your caseworker can tell you the DA limit. The money other family members in your home get may affect your DA case.
• Apply for any other money you might be able to get, including:
– Social Security benefits
– Unemployment compensation
– Worker’s compensation *You may need to meet other requirements, depending on what kind of assistance you need. If you are eligible to receive help from a program other than DA, you must try to get that help.
Your caseworker will see if your family can also get help from other programs, including:
• Help with food through the Food Stamp program
• Help with money through Ohio Works First. It replaces the ADC (Aid to Dependent Children) program
• Help with money through SSI. To learn more about SSI, call 1-800-772-1213 toll-free
• Help with health care through the Medicaid program. You may get this help through an HMO. HMO stands for health maintenance organization
• Help with social services
What do I need to bring when I apply for DA?
Your caseworker will need to have the items below for each person who needs DA. If you need help getting these items, ask your caseworker to help you.
• Proof of your:
– Examples would be:
• Birth Certificate
• Driver License
• State ID Card
• Military Discharge Papers
• Alien Registration Card
• Proof of address, such as a rent receipt or a utility bill with your name and address on it.
• Proof of all the money you get: Also proof of all the money other family members in your home get. This includes:
– Pay Stubs
– Self-Employment Records
– Approval Letters for Benefits Such as SSI
• Proof of any health insurance. (Health insurance helps that state get back money it pays for your medical costs.)
• Information on any medications you take regularly
• Information on ANY medical problems you have
• Proof of all your resources. Also, proof of all the resources of other family members in your home. These include:
• Checking and Savings Accounts
• Stocks and Bonds
• Life Insurance
• Burial Accounts
• Motor vehicles, including cars, trucks, vans, motorcycles, campers, boats and snowmobiles. Your CDHS might not need to count the value of your car if:
– It is less than the DA limit
– You use it for certain reasons, such as getting to work
• Real estate property. Your CDHS does not count the value of your home, household goods and personal items as a resource,
Your information is private. Your CDHS can’t give out information about you unless you say it can.
Your CDHS may check the information you give. Using your Social Security number, your CDHS may contact other agencies or people. This is done to make sure your information is correct and you should get DA.
After you have given your caseworker all the needed information, he or she will find out if you can get DA. Your caseworker will then send you a letter within 45 days of the day you applied for DA. The letter will tell you if you will get DA. If you can get DA money, you will get your first check within 45 days of the day you applied for DA. Decisions regarding an applicant’s medical condition could extend this timeframe.
If you will not get DA, your letter will tell you why. (See You have a right to a state hearing.)
Once you apply for DA, you must report all changes that might affect your DA. You must tell your CDHS about these changes within 10 calendar days. These changes include if anyone on your DA case:
• Leaves the county you live in for more than 30 days
• Marries, separates or divorces
• Becomes pregnant
• Has a child
• Has a change in health insurance benefits
• Is hurt in an accident
• Becomes disabled
• Becomes dependent on medication
• Stops being dependent on medication
• Has a change in any money he or she gets
• Gets a job, changes jobs, or loses a job
• Gets, or will get, help from any source, including disability benefits or unemployment or worker’s compensation
• Has a change in resources
Other changes you must report include:
• If anyone comes into or leaves the home
• If a child drops out of school
• If a child turns 18
• If your DA check, DA medical card, or food stamp card are ever lost or stolen. Your CDHS may be able to replace them
If you don’t tell your CDHS about a change that could affect your case, you might get help you should not have. If you get help you should not have, you could have to pay it back.
If you give false information or hide information about yourself, you can be charged with fraud. You can also be charged with fraud if you don’t tell about a change tat might affect your case.
To learn more, ask your caseworker for ODHS brochure 8100 – Ohio is Tough on Welfare Fraud.
I’m under 22 and live with my parents. Can I get DA?
People under 22 who live with their parents may be eligible to receive DA. It depends on their parents’ income, resources and living situation.
If you are at least 18, but under 22, and living with your parents, your caseworker will need to do a special budget based on your parents’ income.
I’d rather get a job than be on DA. Can you help me get a job?
The DA program itself can’t help you get a job. However, most people who get DA also get help from the Food Stamp program.
Many people who get food stamps must take part in Food Stamp Employment and Training (FSET). FSET is a program that gives job training and experience. Some people won’t have to take part in FSET, because of age or health, for example. To learn more, ask your caseworker.
You can also contact the local office of the Ohio Bureau of Employment Services.
What is SSI? Am I eligible?
SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income. SSI offers cash assistance to individuals with low income who meet the following criteria:
• EITHER are 65 or older
• OR are any age and are blind or disabled
Getting SSI might mean more money or better health coverage than you would get on DA.
You apply for SSI at your local Social Security Administration office. Your CDHS can help you apply for SSI through its SSI-CM program. SSI-CM stands for Supplemental Security Income – Case Management.
Your SSI-CM worker can:
• Help you apply for SSI
• Gather information to support your claim for Medicaid or SSI
• Go with you to you SSI interviews, if needed
• Get notices of all decisions made on your claims
• Refer you to someone who can help you with your claims
What if I am denied SSI?
If you are denied SSI, your SSI-CM worker can:
• Go over your denial notices with you
• Help you decide if you should appeal your denial
• Help you file an appeal of the denial
• Help you find a lawyer to help you
• Help you keep your Medicaid
You local legal aid office also might be able to help you with your SSI appeal. Call the Ohio State Legal Services Association toll-free at 1-800-589-5888 for the phone number of your local legal aid office.
Help Me Grow – Children and pregnant women may also get medical help through the free Help Me Grow Helpline – 1-800-755-GROW. A worker will help you get the health care you need. The program can help if you don’t have a doctor or think you can’t afford to see one.
WIC – WIC stands for Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. WIC can help you get extra food each month. You may be able to get WIC if you:
• Are pregnant
• Just had a baby
• Are breast-feeding
• Have a child under age five
For additional information, you may request a copy of ODHS 8145 – Need Help to Stay on the Job.
Help with food – Many people who get DA also get food stamps to help them with food. To learn more, ask your caseworker for ODHS booklet 8003 – Ohio’s Food Stamp Program. You may also be able to get help with food through your local food bank.
Hospital Care Assurance Program – Ohio hospitals must provide free medically needed services to people whose income is at or below the federal poverty line. the income of people who get DA is at or below the federal poverty line. If you used to get DA, you may still be able to get these services. To learn more, talk to your CDHS.
PIP (Percentage of Income Payment Plan) helps with gas and electric bills. You don’t have to get DA to get PIP. PIP can help with this year’s bills. If you are already on PIP and go on DA, your PIP help may go up.
To learn more, contact the customer service office of your gas and electric companies. You can also call the Public Utilities Commission free at 1-800-686-7826.
Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Earned Income Credit (EIC) – EITC is a special tax credit for low-income families who live with and care for children. It is also for low income single adults.
You get EITC from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Even if you did not owe taxes, you may be able to get EITC if you worked during the year. YOu will need to fill out tax forms to get EITC. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, which is run by the IRS, can help you fill out your forms.
Getting EITC won’t change your DA or food stamps. To learn more, call the IRS free at 1-800-829-1040.
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 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, Shelby, Warren
Cleveland District Office: 1-800-686-1511
[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) 752-9520 (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, Pickaway, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Union, Vinton
Toledo District Office: 1-800-686-1572
[or (419) 245-2800]
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, Van Wert, Williams, Wood, Wyandot
You have the right to a state hearing
You can ask for a state hearing if you don’t agree with an action or a decision on your benefits by your CDHS. You can also ask for a state hearing if you think your CDHS has not done something it should have. To learn more, ask your caseworker for:
• ODHS booklet 8000 – Your rights, and
• ODHS sheet 4059 – Explanation of State Hearing Procedures
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 AM to 5:00 pm. 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
The Ohio Department of Human Services is a public agency which manages federal money. Laws don’t allow discrimination in managing programs that use federal money. Types of discrimination include age, sex, race, color. They also include religion, disability, ancestry, or county of birth. To learn more, ask your caseworker for ODHS booklet 8000 – Your Rights. If you feel you have been discriminated against, send your complaint to:
Office of Internal Administration
Ohio Department of Human Services
30 East Broad Street, 32nd Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43266-0423
Call (614) 752-3951 if you have a hearing or speech problem