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Changes give county JFS more flexibility on disbursing funds

LISBON — Columbiana County’s main public assistance agency received approval Wednesday to redirect some of its funding to help the working poor and other income-eligible people impacted by the coronavirus crisis.

Commissioners acted on the recommendation of county Department of Job and Family Services Director Rachel Ketterman, who said they received permission from the Ohio JFS to make the changes with some of the federal and state public assistance funding it receives.

The following are the changes approved by commissioners:

— People who work and have legal custody of a relative under the age of 18 through Children Services are entitled to a one-time payment of up to $350 should they lose their job because of the business shutdowns ordered by the government in response to the coronavirus. The money is to help them prepare to self quarantine and engage in social distancing since they will not be largely confined to their home.

— Those who have legal custody of a juvenile relative through Children Services and lose their job because of the coronavirus can also receive a one-time payment of up to $1,000 to help pay their mortgage or rent.

— Any income-eligible households or individuals with children under the age of 18 who lost their jobs because of the coronavirus can seek a one-time payment of up to $300 in cash per household.

In each instance, only those at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible, which is currently $52,400 for a household of four.

Ketterman stressed there is only so much money they can allocate for each of these purposes, although the state is looking for sources of funding to access or redirect to help income-eligible people impacted by the crisis.

tgiambroni@mojonews.com

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