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Online Benefit Application

Cuyahoga Job and Family Services encourage our customers to utilize the online web portal for the fastest service when applying for benefits; However CJFS continues to have a No “Wrong Door” Policy for customers when applying for benefits. A customer may apply for benefits in person, by mail, by phone or online.

Applying for food, cash and medical assistance through Cuyahoga County is a multi step process. Please read the information carefully to ensure your application is processed as quickly as possible. Please note it may take up to 30 days to complete your application. We complete cases in the order that they are received and when all verification documents have been received.


You can submit your application in the following ways:

  1. Online through the State of Ohio, Ohio Benefits web portal. www.Benefits.Ohio.Gov
  2. In Person at any of our Neighborhood Family Service Centers. 
    • Virgil E. Brown
    • Quincy Place
    • Old Brooklyn
    • Southgate
    • Westshore
  3. Mail a signed application  to any of the above mentioned service centers


As part of the application, you will need to submit a number of verification documents. The specific documents accepted are listed here; in general we will need to verify who is in the household, all household income and basic information such as identity, Social Security Number(s) and Birth Verification(s).


Once you have submitted your application, you will receive a letter in the mail giving you an appointment date and time for you to complete a face-to-face or telephone interview with a caseworker at one of our Neighborhood Family Service Centers.  


At the end of the face –to-face or telephone interview your caseworker if face-to-face will provide you with a checklist of any additional verification documents needed to complete your case. If by phone your caseworker will identify the needed documents verbally and additionally mail out the checklist of needed documents to your identified place of residence.

Return those verification documents to us with your name and case number or social security number on all documents at any of our Neighborhood Family Service Centers in person or scan them into the self service portal located at the NFSC sites.

**Verification Documents Sample Checklist


The State of Ohio Benefit Tool is a new internet tool that allows Ohioans to apply for food assistance, cash assistance and Medicaid online, wherever the individual can access a web connection simply by logging in at www.Benefits.Ohio.Gov.

For individuals or families with an existing case, this online service allows you to report household or income changes to your caseworker. The process is quick, easy and secure.

The Ohio Benefit Application is a QUICK, EASY AND SECURE service that affords anyone in the state of Ohio the opportunity to apply for cash assistance, food assistance and Medicaid online. For individuals or families with existing cases this online service allows you report household or income changes to your caseworkers.

  1. Go to www.Benefits.Ohio.Gov
  2. Scroll down to the Are you looking for section
  3. Begin your online application

UPDATE - As of August 2014 if you are a VETERAN applying for health care coverage through Medicaid, be sure to check the box that says you have served in the military. You will then be contacted by a representative from the Department of Veteran Services who will provide additional information about other veteran benefits that may be available to you. Veterans can apply for Medicaid coverage at

Automatic Application Processing Tips

  • After you make your selection for Apply for Benefits or My case,
  • First time users will need to create a User account. Be sure to set up an “Account” (Name, User ID, password & e-mail address)
  • If no account is established prior to the online application process then once you set up the account ,
  • Select the link that says “if you don’t not have an account, click here.” Enter registration details on the New Account Registration screen.
  • An email account is needed. If you don’t have one, there are several choices on this screen to use create an email account.
  • After you click submit an E-mail will be sent to applicant with an ‘activation link. You must click on that link within 96 hours (4 days) to activate your account. If you do not, the account registration will be canceled and you will need to begin again.
  • If you experience trouble moving through the application at Benefits. Ohio.Gov, try using a different browser (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, etc.)
  • Ensure all fields are completed. Do not leave the income field blank or do not enter the dollar amount as $0.00. Use a dollar value of $1-$5 (if the individual has no income). **This information applies to infants as well.
  • Social Security Numbers: The system does not require the user to enter the social security number when applying for benefits, however CJFS recommends entering the social security number because it is needed to determine eligibility.