Except for the provisions that are listed in rules
5101:1-23-20.1 and 5101:1-23- 20.2 of the Administrative Code, all payments
received by assistance group members, and in some instances non-assistance
group members, are considered income for purposes of determining eligibility
for the Ohio works first (OWF) program. Income is categorized as earned or
What is gross earned
(1) "Gross earned income" means the
total amount of gross wages before taxes or deductions received in a month by
all of the employed individuals in the assistance group.
Gross earned income includes:
(a) All wages, back pay, bonuses and awards
paid by the employer, commissions, severance pay, payments from job corps, work
training programs, on-the-job training programs, sick leave paid as wages,
annual leave, holiday and vacation pay.
Wages legally obligated to members of the
assistance group but are diverted to a third party, as described in rule
of the Administrative Code.
Earnings of an individual residing with the assistance group who is a required
assistance group member but who is ineligible to be included in the assistance
group as described in rule
of the Administrative Code.
Earnings of the spouse of a married pregnant woman with no other OWF eligible
(i) The spouse's income is added to
the pregnant woman's income.
The assistance group's total income, less appropriate disregards, is compared
to the payment standard for two.
(iii) When the total income is less than the
payment standard for two, the pregnant woman's eligibility for cash assistance
is determined in accordance with paragraph (I) of this rule, using only her
Once the child is
born, the spouse shall be added to the assistance group in accordance with the
provisions described in rule
of the Administrative Code and his income shall be used in determining
State temporary disability insurance and
temporary workers' compensation payments are considered gross earnings when
such payments meet all of the following conditions:
(i) The payment is employer-funded;
(ii) The payment is made to an
individual who remains employed during recuperation from a temporary illness or
injury pending return to the job; and,
(iii) The payment is specifically
characterized under state law as a temporary wage replacement.
gross self-employment earnings?
self-employment earnings" means the total profit from a business enterprise
after the deduction of either fifty per cent of the gross receipts or the
actual verified expenses (i.e., the business expenses directly related to
producing the goods or services) from the gross receipts.
(2) Gross monthly self-employment earnings
are based on an estimate of the individual's annual earnings.
What is gross unearned income?
(1) "Gross unearned income" is income that is
not gross earned income from employment or self-employment.
It is the total amount of unearned income
that is received in the month by all members of the assistance group, and of a
parent ineligible to be included in the assistance group, as described in rule
of the Administrative Code.
Gross unearned income includes but is not limited to payments from the
(c) Retirement funds;
(d) Veterans benefits;
(e) Workers' compensation;
(f) Unemployment compensation;
(g) Social security retirement, survivor's
and disability insurance (RSDI) benefits;
(h) Cash contributions from persons,
organizations or assistance agencies;
Income allocated to the assistance group
from a required individual who is ineligible to be included in the OWF
assistance group as described in rule
of the Administrative Code.
non-recurring lump-sum payment that is not anticipated or expected to be
received again. Receipt of a non-recurring lump-sum payment is only considered
income in the month received;
Child support and alimony payments received by the assistance group.
Child support is considered as countable
income in all budget calculations until the assignment of support is effective
as described in rule
of the Administrative Code.
Direct payments of support received by an assistance group from the month of
application through the month in which eligibility is determined and assistance
is approved shall be budgeted as unearned income.
(iii) Once the assignment of support is
effective, any child support received by the assistance group is not counted as
income in the actual grant calculation.
(iv) When the county agency adds an
individual to an existing assistance group, the child support assignment is
effective the first day of the month following the month the individual is
added to the assistance group. The child support assignment may be deemed
retroactive to the date the individual is required to be included in the
assistance group. However, the child support payments received by or for the
added individual prior to the effective date of assignment shall be treated as
(v) In some
circumstances, the child support payments received by the child support
enforcement agency (CSEA) cannot all be distributed for present, future and
past months. This results in a refund of child support payable directly to the
assistance group. When child support money has been distributed by the CSEA and
an amount is refunded to the assistance group, the amount may be considered a
non-recurring lump sum as described in paragraph (C)(3)(j) of this
When is income available to the
Income shall be received
or reasonably anticipated to be received by the assistance group during the
calendar month to be used in determining eligibility for OWF.
(a) Availability depends upon the date of
receipt and the number of months the income is intended to cover.
(b) In certain instances, income may need to
be apportioned to future months.
(c) An employee under an annual contract of
employment shall have the income from such contract averaged over the number of
months covered under the contract regardless of whether the employee chooses to
receive the income in fewer months.
Income received by a member of the
assistance group is considered available to all members of the assistance
group. This includes the receipt of social security Title II benefits. When a
Title II beneficiary is a minor, benefits are usually paid through a
representative payee. When the beneficiary is a member of the assistance group,
it is necessary to determine when the entire amount of the Title II benefit is
counted as income to the assistance group.
When the representative payee resides in the same household, the total amount
of Title II benefits received for the beneficiary is counted in determining the
assistance group's eligibility for OWF.
(b) When the representative payee does not
reside in the same household as the beneficiary, only that portion made
available to the beneficiary and/ or caretaker is countable. Title II benefits
retained by a representative payee who does not reside in the same household as
the beneficiary are not considered potential income to the OWF assistance
(3) When income
is received jointly by a member of the assistance group and one or more persons
not in the assistance group, the assistance group member's portion to be
considered is the amount made available to the assistance group member unless
evidence is produced to the contrary.
The income of a parent ineligible to be
included in the assistance group, as described in rule
of the Administrative Code, is considered in determining the assistance group's
eligibility and payment, except for excluded income described in rule
5101:1-23-20.1 of the Administrative Code.
(5) The county agency shall explore with each
assistance group the potential development of monthly income. The assistance
group shall apply for any monthly benefits that it is entitled. A county agency
shall not require the assistance group to apply for lump-sum withdrawals of
retirement or pension funds that would negate the drawing of monthly benefits
in the near future.
assistance group, including the person responsible for a child receiving OWF
benefits, is responsible for giving information necessary for income
determinations, and for taking all actions necessary to obtain unconditionally
(a) Income shall be
unconditionally available when the assistance group has only to claim or accept
the income, or to establish eligibility for the income; e.g., relative's offer
of a contribution, or RSDI benefits.
(b) Ineligibility to participate in OWF
results when the assistance group refuses to accept unconditionally available
How is gross earned and unearned income calculated?
(1) Each assistance group member's monthly
gross income amount shall be rounded down to the nearest whole dollar by
dropping all cents in gross weekly, biweekly, or semimonthly income prior to
applying the conversion factors listed in paragraph (E)(3) of this
(2) Income received in a
frequency other than monthly shall be converted into a monthly amount. All
cents shall be dropped after multiplying the individual's income by the
appropriate conversion factor, and prior to applying applicable earned income
disregards, as described in paragraph (H)(2) of this rule. Hourly rates that
contain cents are not rounded, but are multiplied in the exact
Conversion shall be
performed using the following factors:
Income received on a weekly basis is multiplied by 4.3.
(b) Income received biweekly (every two
weeks) is multiplied by 2.15.
Income received semimonthly (twice a month) is multiplied by 2.
(4) When the employed individual
works the same number of hours per pay period, the gross monthly income shall
be computed by either using the gross earnings listed on the individual's pay
stubs or by multiplying the number of hours per pay period by the hourly rate
When the employed
individual has fluctuating hours, the pays shall be averaged before converting
to a gross monthly amount.
(a) When there are
more than four weeks of pay stubs available and the individual states that an
average of a longer period of time is more representative because the income
received in the most recent four weeks was less or greater than average, the
county agency may use all available income-related information for the
immediately preceding three-month period. This includes situations when the
individual disagrees with the use of income from the past four-week period as
representative of future income. Some pay stubs reflect year-to-date earnings
and this is an acceptable method of determining average income for longer than
the four-week period.
there are fewer than four weeks of pay stubs available, the county agency may
use all available income-related information to arrive at a representative
figure. This includes situations when the employed assistance group member
disagrees with the use of earnings from the past four-week period as indicative
of future earnings.
When the employment is new and there are no pay stubs available yet and the
employer does not provide a statement of pay rate and expected number of hours
to be worked, the county agency may project an estimated amount for a pay
period based on projected wages and hours as reported by the
self-employment income calculated?
Self-employment income is calculated by deducting the verified
business expenses or a standard deduction of fifty per cent from the gross
self-employment receipts. Gross receipts is the total profit of a business
In situations in which an individual has
self-employment income, the county agency shall determine the gross receipts
for the month based on an estimate of the individual's gross annual earnings by
reviewing copies of his or her tax return from the previous year, as well as
the current business records. The income listed on the previous year's tax
return shall be used to estimate the expected earnings for the current and
future months, unless the individual contests this determination of expected
income. The individual's gross monthly earnings should be determined to be
one-twelfth of the gross earnings as shown on the tax return for the preceding
year. This method of estimating the self-employed individual's income should be
applicable in situations in which the individual has been self-employed for
some time, the gross earnings from self-employment have remained fairly
constant (as evidenced by tax returns from previous years) and there is no
anticipated change in circumstances.
the individual contests the estimate of the income from self-employment based
solely on information on the previous year's tax return, the individual shall
provide a projected estimate of the gross earnings for the current taxable
year, based upon the current business records to support the contention. When
the individual can estimate the gross earnings for the current taxable year,
the county agency shall accept the individual's best estimate and allocate
one-twelfth of the gross annual income equally into each month of the taxable
(ii) When the individual
contests the county agency estimate of income from self-employment based solely
on the previous year's tax return but does not provide a projected estimate of
gross earnings for the taxable year based on current business records to
support the contention, the county agency shall project his earnings based on
the gross earnings listed on the previous year's tax return.
When the individual does not
have a tax return from the previous year, the county agency shall project an
estimate of the individual's annual gross earning from self-employment based on
the individual's current business records. The county agency shall determine
that one-twelfth of the projected gross earnings from self-employment shall be
(i) When the individual
contests the determination, provides a reasonable explanation as to why the
county agency projection is not satisfactory and a written estimate of his
projected annual gross earnings from self-employment, the county agency shall
use the individual's written estimate to base the eligibility
(ii) When the
individual does not provide a written estimate of projected annual gross
earnings, the county agency shall project the estimate based on current
(c) In some
situations the previous year's tax return is not representative of the expected
earnings for the current year. There are some situations in which it will be
difficult to project future earnings from the individual's self-employment and
the previous year's tax return or current business records may not be
considered to be accurate indicators of the individual's expected earnings for
a variety of reasons.
(d) In the
absence of both the previous year's tax return and current business records,
the county agency shall require the individual to provide a written best
estimate of his projected annual income. The county agency shall then determine
that one-twelfth of the projected annual gross earnings shall be distributed
into all months of the taxable year.
The computed converted monthly figure
shall remain unchanged until a change in income occurs as described in
paragraph (H) of rule
of the Administrative Code, or until the next reapplication. A reported change
in income requires a recomputation of the budget.
The assistance group may choose one of the following two
(a) Fifty per cent standard
deduction from the gross self-employment receipts; or
Actual deductions from the
self-employment receipts as described in
of the Administrative Code.
How is microenterprise development income
(1) For purposes of this rule, a
"microenterprise development participant" is an individual participating in a
training and education activity designed to prepare the individual for
Gross self-employment receipts are described in paragraph (F)(1) of this
The following are
allowable operating expenses for up to one year following the month that the
participant's business starts or expands:
The provisions regarding non-allowable deductions from self-employment income,
described in rule
of the Administrative Code, are waived. Allowable business expenses shall not
exceed seven thousand-five hundred dollars.
(b) The purchase of capital equipment or
durable goods up to five thousand dollars.
(c) The interest and principal portion of a
secured business loan not to exceed five thousand dollars.
(d) Payments made into an "unencumbered cash
reserve account" in any month the total amount in the fund does not exceed
three thousand dollars.
(4) The gross self-employment earnings, after
deduction of expenses, up to one hundred thirty-three per cent of the federal
poverty guideline for the participant's OWF assistance group size is excluded
as countable income. Gross self- employment earnings received in excess of this
standard shall be included as gross earned income.
How is initial eligibility determined?
When an assistance group applies for OWF
and it has been more than four months since they last received OWF, the county
agency shall determine whether the assistance group's gross income exceeds
fifty per cent of the federal poverty guidelines as described in division
(D)(1)(a) of section
of the Revised Code. The county agency shall complete the following steps:
(a) Total the monthly gross earned income
from each employed family member.
(b) Deduct the actual verified dependent care
costs of the assistance group for nonpublicly funded dependent care for a child
or an incapacitated adult who is residing in the home. The amount that is
deducted is the actual verified cost that is paid for each child or
unearned income of assistance group members to the amount in paragraph
(H)(1)(b) of this rule.
assistance group is ineligible to receive OWF when the gross income in
paragraph (H)(1)(c) of this rule exceeds fifty per cent of the federal poverty
assistance group's gross income does not exceed fifty per cent of the federal
poverty guidelines, the county agency shall determine whether the assistance
group's countable income is less than the payment standard described in
paragraph (J) of this rule. For purposes of this paragraph, "countable income"
shall be defined as:
(a) The assistance
group's gross earned income; minus,
(b) The two hundred-fifty dollar and one-half
of the remainder disregards described in division (D)(3) of section
of the Revised Code, when applicable; minus,
(c) The actual verified dependent care costs
of the assistance group for nonpublicly funded dependent care; plus,
(d) The assistance group's gross unearned
(e) The amount in paragraph
(H)(2)(d) of this rule is compared to the OWF payment standard for the
assistance group size.
assistance group is ineligible to participate in OWF when the assistance
group's countable income equals or exceeds the payment standard.
(3) When an assistance group
applies for OWF and it has not been more than four months since they last
received OWF, the county agency shall apply the benefit determination in
paragraphs (H)(2)(a) to (H)(2)(f) of this rule.
How are ongoing benefits determined?
(1) To determine whether an assistance group
receiving OWF continues to be eligible, the county agency shall determine
whether the assistance group's countable income continues to be less than the
payment standard. The determination of the assistance group's countable income
is determined by applying the method described in paragraph (H)(2) of this
(2) The assistance group is
ineligible to receive OWF when the assistance group's countable income equals
or exceeds the payment standard.
The disregard described in division
(D)(3) of section
of the Revised Code shall not be applied to the assistance group's gross earned
income for any month in which the assistance group failed without good cause to
make a timely report of earnings as described in rule
of the Administrative Code.
What are the income standards used for
The following standards are used in determining eligibility for
(1) The initial eligibility
standard for OWF is fifty per cent of the federal poverty guidelines pursuant
of the Revised Code. The gross income is compared to the initial eligibility
standard pursuant to paragraph (H) of this rule to determine initial
eligibility. In accordance with division (D)(2) of section
of the Revised Code, the initial eligibility standard will be revised on the
first day of July of the year in which the United States department of health
and human services issues annual revisions to the federal poverty
(2) As described in
rule 5101:1-23-20.2 of the Administrative Code, the allocation allowance
standard is the amount used when a portion of the income of the individual, who
is not a member of the assistance group, shall be considered in the calculation
of income to be applied to the assistance group. This standard is one hundred
per cent of the federal poverty guidelines in effect on July 1, 1997.
The OWF payment standard is the maximum
amount of cash assistance an assistance group may receive. Income that is
determined to be available to the assistance group as described in this rule is
deducted from the OWF payment standard to determine the amount of the OWF cash
(a) In accordance with section
of the Revised Code, the OWF payment standard shall increase on the first day
of each January by the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) that is made in the
(b) Changes to the
OWF payment standards due to the cost-of-living adjustment are issued through
an action change transmittal, that can be found in the cash assistance manual
at the Ohio department of job and family services website
at http://jfs.ohio.gov/. (4)
The ninety per cent payment
standard is the amount that an assistance group on grant reduction due to an
erroneous payment retains from its combined income (without disregards), liquid
assets, and assistance payment.
(a) The work
activity expense allowance and the learning, earning and parenting (LEAP) bonus
are added after the payment standard is reduced for grant reduction.
(b) When an erroneous payment is recovered by
grant reduction, and the individual who caused the erroneous payment was
disqualified due to an intentional program violation as described in Chapter
5101:6-20 of the Administrative Code, and who is still residing with the
otherwise eligible assistance group, the remaining assistance group members
shall retain (from combined income, liquid assets, and assistance payment) an
amount equal to ninety per cent of the payment standard for the assistance
group excluding the disqualified individual's needs.
Ohio Admin. Code
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates:
Prior Effective Dates: 08/01/1975, 11/01/1975, 07/01/1976,
09/01/1976, 05/14/1977, 12/31/1977, 03/10/1978, 07/01/1978, 08/04/1978,
10/26/1978, 01/01/1979, 04/05/1979, 05/01/1979, 08/01/1979, 09/21/1979,
12/01/1979, 01/25/1980, 02/03/1980, 05/29/1980, 06/01/1981, 09/07/1981,
10/01/1981, 05/01/1982, 07/01/1982, 12/01/1982, 12/10/1982, 12/29/1982,
01/01/1983, 01/13/1983, 07/01/1983, 01/01/1984, 03/01/1984, 06/01/1984,
07/01/1984 (Temp.), 09/01/1984, 09/10/1984, 10/01/1984 (Emer.), 10/02/1984
(Emer.), 12/27/1984, 01/01/1985 (Emer.), 04/01/1985, 07/01/1985 (Emer.),
08/01/1985 (Emer.), 10/17/1985, 01/01/1986 (Emer.), 01/02/1986, 02/23/1986,
04/01/1986, 07/01/1986, 08/01/1986 (Emer.), 10/03/1986, 02/01/1987 (Emer.),
04/01/1987, 07/01/1987 (Emer.), 08/03/1987, 10/01/1987, 07/01/1988 (Emer.),
09/01/1988 (Emer.), 10/01/1988 (Emer.), 12/20/1988, 01/01/1989 (Emer.),
04/01/1989, 07/01/1989 (Emer.), 08/21/1989, 09/23/1989, 10/01/1989 (Emer.),
11/01/1989 (Emer.), 12/16/1989, 01/01/1990 (Emer.), 01/29/1990, 02/19/1990,
03/22/1990, 06/01/1990, 07/01/1990, 09/01/1990 (Emer.), 10/01/1990, 11/10/1990,
05/01/1991 (Emer.), 07/01/1991, 07/11/1991, 07/12/1991 (Emer.), 09/22/1991,
10/10/1991 (Emer.), 12/20/1991, 04/01/1992, 07/01/1992, 10/01/1992, 10/01/1992
(Emer.), 12/21/1992 (Emer.), 01/01/1993, 07/01/1993, 10/01/1993 (Emer.),
12/25/1993, 05/18/1994, 07/01/1994, 08/14/1994, 09/01/1994, 11/01/1994,
03/01/1995, 05/01/1995, 07/15/1995, 08/01/1995 (Emer.), 10/30/1995, 03/01/1996
(Emer.), 05/30/1996, 07/01/1996 (Emer.), 10/08/1996, 07/01/1997, 10/01/1997
(Emer.), 12/30/1997, 07/01/1998, 07/01/1999, 10/01/1999, 01/01/2000,
07/01/2001, 07/01/2002, 10/01/2005, 07/01/2006, 01/01/2009, 08/01/2010,