Ohio budget bill ended cash assistance program for people with disabilities

The state stopped accepting new applications for the Disability Financial Assistance program July 1 -- a change buried in the 3,300-page state budget bill.

News Story (Ohio)

Jackie Borchardt
Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH)
August 7, 2017

Tags: Disability Benefits, Public Benefits

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid Society of Cleveland


The Kasich administration says the program was intended to help people while they waited to receive federal disability benefits, and Medicaid managed care health plans can help expedite that process so monthly cash assistance isn’t necessary.

But advocates for the poor say most Ohioans in the program will never meet the high bar for federal benefits but have disabilities that keep them from working. Bob Bonthius, an attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, said people rely on that cash to pay their rent and other basic living expenses.

“These are the very same people that the governor wanted to protect with the Medicaid expansion, and I’m baffled he does not want to protect these people,” Bonthius said.