LIMA, OHIO: A new state program provides financial incentives for agencies that move people from cash assistance to unsubsidized employment, and one northwest Ohio county is passing along some of that cash to the workers who stick with their jobs.
The state is providing up to $150,000 to launch the Ohio Works Incentive Program, which began this summer for counties and workforce boards that decided to participate, The Lima News reported. The pilot program aims to decrease dependency on welfare and provide more intervention for those still getting help in Ohio, which changed its welfare program to get more people working after it missed benchmarks for how many participants are employed or pursuing employment.
County jobs agencies can get extra incentives if they get people working and off cash assistance, and officials in Allen County decided to forward some of the money it receives to those workers. Those who stay employed will get $100 after three months and $500 after six months — the same milestones at which the jobs agencies earn their incentives from the state.
“We’re hoping those folks are going to be successful, and that this could be an additional incentive,” said Marilyn Horstman, director of social services for Allen County Job and Family Services.
The pilot program, which runs through June 2015, allows for that flexibility. State officials want to analyze different approaches to see what is most effective.
The incentive amount for the county varies depending on the type and duration of job placement for each cash assistance recipient. Counties get $1,000 for a recipient placed in unsubsidized employment, then $1,500 more if the person remains employed after 90 days. If the job enables a person to stop getting cash assistance, each of those payouts is bigger. And for each worker still employed after six months, counties can get another $1,000.