Cash assistance funds could be cut

Mahoning County Job and Family Services could lose federal money if the state doesn’t improve its cash assistance program.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services funds the programs in Ohio, which temporarily helps families in need. In exchange, the recipient must work 30 hours per week to get the help. Ohio participants are not meeting those requirements and the state could lose $155 million in federal funding for the program.

Bob Bush, director of Mahoning County Job and Family Services, said the county increased its participation in 2012, but he fears it may not be enough.

“Federal funds and what you lose are your matching funds. Some of our funds are for every dollar we get, we can get another dollar in certain federal programs,” said Bush. “Some funds we get $2 in matching funds depending upon the program.”

Mahoning County JFS could lose a total of $13 million in federal funds and matching dollars.

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