SUMMIT COUNTY, Ohio — Ohio Benefits, the system used by Ohio residents use for healthcare, childcare, food and cash benefits, and the system local counties use to determine eligibility and benefits, will be unavailable Dec. 2 through Dec. 6 for a statewide computer upgrade.
According to the Ohio Benefits site, the self-service portal will not be available from 8 p.m. Thursday through 8 a.m. Monday.
For Summit County residents who need to apply, rectify or renew their benefits for cash, food or Medicaid assistance, they can submit a paper application at Summit County Department of Job and Family Services located at 1180 S. Main Street, Suite 102 in Akron, according to a news release from the county's Jobs and Family Services Department.
Customers can also email documents and verifications to SummitE-Docs@JFS.Ohio.gov.
Staff will screen paper applications to see whether they need to be expedited for food assistance. Paper applications won’t be processed until after the system is back online.
Residents who need food while the system is unavailable should call 211.
Regular operations will resume on Monday, Dec. 6.
The Stark County Job and Family Services Department provided guidance for residents in the news release below:
Due to statewide computer upgrades, the Ohio Benefits System will be unavailable from 8 p.m. on Thursday, December 2, 2021, through 8 a.m. on Monday, December 6, 2021.
This outage will impact Stark County Job and Family Services’ Division of Human Services during regular business hours on Friday, December 3, 2021. Residents should be aware that during this time, the agency will be unable to: take calls through the call center (local and state numbers will be unavailable); look up any case or benefit information; and authorize, close, or change any cash, food, or Medicaid benefits.
Although staff will not have access to case data while the system is offline, paper applications will be accepted to determine if expedited food assistance is needed. Paper applications will not be processed until the system is back online.
The State advises individuals in need of food while the system is down to contact a local food pantry.
The computer systems and phones are expected to be back up at 8 a.m. on Monday, December 6, 2021. Applications and verifications will be addressed in the order in which they are received.
For additional information, please call Stark County Job and Family Services’ Division of Human Services at (844)640-6446.
Portage County's Job and Family Service department sent a news release with information for what the outage means for their residents:
The Ohio Benefits Worker Portal will be inaccessible on this date. As a result of the outage, Portage County and other counties throughout the state will be unable to process applications or reported changes on TANF, SNAP, and Medicaid cases.
What does this mean?
• Any verifications received into Portage County Job & Family Services offices, either by mail, electronically or in person, will not be processed until Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, at the earliest.
• Any applications received into Portage County Job & Family Services offices, either by mail, electronically or in person, will not be processed or scheduled for an appointment until Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, or later. Applications will be reviewed for potential expedited services.
• Any phone calls received regarding case status changes or case inquiries will not be able to be answered during this period. Your inquiry information will be gathered along with contact information and your call will be returned as soon as possible beginning Monday, Dec. 6, 2021.
Portage County residents who contact the agency on this day with food emergencies will be referred to the county’s 211 line for assistance.
We appreciate your patience and understanding during this upgrade.
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