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Free Ohio Benefit Bank Counselor Training Offered at United Way

A free Ohio Benefit Bank counselor training will be held at the United Way of Hancock County, 245 Stanford Parkway on Friday, September 20, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.  The training is for people who deal with clients who may benefit from government assistance. 

The Ohio Association of Foodbanks serves as the home of The Ohio Benefit Bank (OBB™).  United Way of Hancock County is the local host organization. The OBB is implemented through a public-private partnership between the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, the State of Ohio, four federal agencies, nine state agencies, and about 1,300 faith-based and community organizations across Ohio.

In Ohio, more than $2.24 billion in work support programs and tax credits, provided to help stabilize low- and moderate-income families, go unclaimed each year. About 95 percent of those funds are federal dollars which, if unused, Ohio must return to the federal government.

The OBB helps individuals and families to access these unclaimed funds, providing revenue to local economies.  Here’s an example of how the OBB could help to increase household stability for a family of one adult and two children with an earned annual income of $15,600 (or $10/hour for 30 hours/week):
$5,028 from the Earned Income Tax Credit
$4,728 in Food Assistance
$150 in Home Energy Assistance
= $9,931 in potential income enhancements
These benefits and credits alone would provide an increase in annual income of more than 64 percent!

A study conducted by the Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs found that:
•50 percent of OBB clients surveyed would have been “unlikely” or “very unlikely” to apply for benefits without the OBB
•83 percent of OBB clients surveyed rated their OBB experience as “good” or “excellent”

Programs supported by OBB include:
USDA Child Nutrition Programs
Food Assistance (SNAP)
Supplemental Security Income/Social Security Disability Insurance
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
Healthcare programs for families and children
Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps (BCMH)
Child and Family Health Services
Medicare Savings Program
Extra Help for Medicare Part D
Ohio Senior Community Service Employment Program
Golden Buckeye Program
Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)
Ohio Cash Assistance (OWF)
Child Care Assistance
Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Big Brothers Big Sisters “Amachi”
Veterans Education Benefits
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Free tax filing (federal and state, including e-filing and back taxes)
The Ohio Youth and Young Adults in Transition Universal Plan

To register for the training, visit