How To Apply For Ohio SNAP Benefits

View the information below if you are interested in applying for a EBT card in Ohio. It is important that you have all the documentation and information needed so the application process is not delayed. If you still have questions or issues about applying for food stamps, known as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), then you can call the Ohio SNAP hotline at 866-244-0071. The department that handles this program is called the Ohio Office of Family Assistance.

The Food Assistance Program, formerly called food stamps and known nationally as the Supplemental Nutrition
Assistance Program (SNAP), helps eligible low-income Ohioans stretch their food budgets and buy healthy food. Food assistance benefits are distributed electronically through the Ohio Direction Card, which is similar to a debit card.

Ohio food stamp eligibility requirements

To be eligible for food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, your family income cannot exceed 130 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. Some households may qualify if they have incomes over the limit if someone in the household is elderly or disabled. You also can check your eligibility by calling or visiting your local county department of job and family services.

You also may be eligible for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which is distributed through local nonprofit agencies, such as food pantries. To be eligible for TEFAP, your family income must be below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. To find a local food bank, visit You also can contact your county department of job and family services and ask for help finding an agency that provides emergency food assistance.

How much are payments?

Benefit amounts are determined based on household size, expenses and, in some situations, resources.
Household size includes the number of people in your household who purchase and prepare food together.
Household expenses include your rent or mortgage, gas, electric, water, sewer, phone and medical expenses, as
well as any child support or child care payments. Household resources include cash, savings and stocks. In 2013,
the average monthly SNAP payment per recipient was approximately $132.

When will I receive my food assistance benefits?

If you qualify and started receiving benefits, your monthly benefit will be loaded onto your Ohio Direction Card on a regular assigned date sometime between the first and the 20th of the month. If you or a member of your assistance group then you are subject to the work requirement for able-bodied adults without dependents. You must report if your work hours fall below 20 hours weekly or 80 hours averaged monthly. Your gross monthly income goes above the allowable gross monthly income limit for your assistance group size. See the chart below:

Food Assistance Gross Monthly Income Guideline

130% FPG Gross Monthly Income
1 $1,287
2 $1,736
3 $2,184
4 $2,633
5 $3,081
6 $3,530
7 $3,980
8 $4,430
9 $4,881
10 $5,332

Gross monthly income means the amount of all income before taxes (i.e. wages, child support, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), memployment compensation, annuities, pensions, retirement, veterans or disability benefits) received by your assistance group prior to any taxes or deductions. You are not required to report any other changes for food assistance until you receive your interim report or at re-certification.

This does not change your reporting requirements for other programs. If your assistance group contains an elderly or disabled member and you are already over the gross monthly income limit listed above you only need to report if your income changes.

Apply for Ohio food stamps

Ohio has three ways to apply for SNAP benefits. The first way is to apply online at Or if you prefer, you can download an application (English version - Spanish version), fill it out and submit it to your local county agency. You can find the address and phone number of your county agency by clicking here,  or by looking in the county government section of your phone book. Some county agencies have multiple locations so make sure to call first to find the location nearest you. You can also register to vote at your county agency.

Another way to apply for Ohio food stamps is through your local Ohio Benefit Bank site. The Ohio Benefit Bank helps low income and moderate-income Ohioans apply for work supports such as tax credits and public benefits, including Ohio Works First. To find the Ohio Benefit Bank site nearest you and to get more information go to

When filling out the application form, answer the questions as thoroughly as possible. If you cannot answer all the questions on the form, just complete the first page and sign and date it. You will be asked to attach copies of proof of your income, other financial resources (if applicable), citizenship or qualified-alien status, pregnancy (if applicable) and any insurance you may have. If English is not your primary language, if you have a disability, or if you have questions about your case, someone at your county agency can help you complete your application. You can then drop off, mail or fax the application. After your county agency receives your application, you may be called for an interview.