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Ohio Benefit Bank presentation 2012


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Ohio Benefit Bank presentation 2012

  1. 1. OHIO ASSOCIATION SECOND HARVEST FOODBANKS Introduction to The Ohio Benefit BankTM December 2011
  2. 2. Who We Are2 The Ohio Benefit Bank (OBB)TM is implemented through a public-private partnership between the Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks (OASHF) and the state of Ohio, 9 state agencies and 4 federal agencies, and 1,158 faith-based and community organizations across Ohio. The mission of OASHF, Ohio’s largest charitable response to hunger and home of the OBB, is to assist Second Harvest Foodbanks in Ohio in providing food and other resources to people in need and to pursue areas of common interest for the benefit of people in need. In State Fiscal Year 2011, OASHF and its member foodbanks were able to acquire and distribute more than 150 million pounds of shelf stable and agriculture products to Ohio’s Emergency Food Network.  Over 1.82 million people relied on the Food Assistance Program as of March 2011.  “Every dollar of SNAP benefits generates $1.84 in terms of economic activity" - Agriculture Secretary Vilsack 8/16/11.
  3. 3. Who We Are3
  4. 4. Ohio’s Unclaimed Funds4 Nationally over $67.1 billion Federal dollars provided to help stabilize low-to-moderate income families go unclaimed each year, more than half of which are available through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  In Ohio, more than $2.24 billion Federal dollars in tax credits and work support $289,983,396.59 programs go unclaimed by Ohio citizens each year; more than half is unclaimed $1,276,485,620 SNAP funding. $272,255,780  Unclaimed Federal dollars must be SNAP Benefits Not Accessed returned each year for re-allocation to $65,146,199 EITC Funds Not Accessed other states or other Federal programs. $76,227,280 Federal Childrens Medicaid  The Ohio Benefit Bank strives to assist Benefits Not Accessed $258,369,407 Ohioans to access these unclaimed Federal CHIP Benefits Not Accessed funds which in turn provide revenue for Medicare Part D Benefits Not Accessed our local economies. Value of Pell Grants Not Accessed Sources and methodology are available by contacting
  5. 5. OBB’s Potential Impact for One Family5 Below are the estimated amounts for one adult with 2 children and an earned income of $15,600 a year (gross)*. This represents an individual earning $10 an hour for 30 hours a week. $ 5,028 in Earned Income Tax Credit $ 4,728 per year in potential Food Assistance $ 150 per year in Home Energy Assistance = $9,931 potential income enhancement Adding healthcare such as Healthy Families or Healthy Start would drastically increase this amount. The Estimated Benefits and EITC Credit alone would provide a potential increase in annual income of more than 64%! *According to the recent statewide Ohio Hunger study by Mathematica Inc., the average annual income for households accessing the emergency food assistance network was $11,590. 75% of households had incomes below the federal poverty level.
  6. 6. A Solution - What we Offer6 A Solution What We Offer  The OBB Online program is offered free to  Potential eligibility calculation for over 20 organizations seeking to better serve benefits and programs. Ohioans. The program is:  An application completion tool.  Internet-based, composed in simple  A free income tax assistance program for English or Spanish, and accessible from current and prior years state and federal any computer with internet access and taxes, and e-Filing capability. a printer.  The OBB software screens for often  Question-guided and serves as the missed credits, including: Earned Income knowledge expert: accurate answers are Tax Credit, Child and Additional Child Tax vital. Credits, Child and Dependent Care Credit, Education Credits, Estimated  Serves as a tool to provide income Business Taxes, Schedule CEZ, and Capital enhancement and to stimulate local Gains and Losses. economies.
  7. 7. Programs Supported by The OBB7  USDA Child Nutrition Programs  Ohio Food Assistance or SNAP  Supplemental Security Income/Social Security Disability Insurance  Women Infants and Children (WIC)  Veterans Education Benefits  Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps (BCMH)  Child and Family Health Services  Ohio Cash Assistance (OWF)  Child Care Assistance  Big Brothers Big Sisters “Amachi”  Health Care Programs for Families and Children  Medicare Savings Program  Extra Help for Medicare Part D  Ohio Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)  Golden Buckeye program  Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)  Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)  Federal and State electronic tax filing (Tax Year 2007 to current)
  8. 8. Current Results8  To Date, The OBB has potentially returned to Ohioans more than $577 Million! This money goes directly to local economies through medical expenditures, food purchases, $2,460,916 $2,346,585 0.41% $4,855,760 and a variety of other areas through 0.43% 0.84% income tax refunds. $106,175,132 18.37%  Currently the OBB has:  3,566 trained counselors $152,046,534 $308,138,257  1,158 sites statewide 26.31% 53.31% Tax Assistance  Assisted over 273,658 individuals Food Assistance within all households served. Child Care Assistance Health Coverage Prescription Assistance Energy Assistance $1,939,614 Senior Employment Assistance 0.34% (Inception – Nov 2011)
  9. 9. Study on the Impact of the Ohio Benefit Bank9 OBB Increases Access to Ohioans are Seeking Services Benefits In 2010, OASHF commissioned a  51% of respondents said they study*, focusing on the impact of would have been unlikely or the OBB, in particular: very unlikely to apply for  the OBB experience benefits without OBB.  who accesses services, and “Food Stamps definitely changed things and  short term impacts. helped.” “Having benefits just puts it to where you’re not 82% were seeking taking money out of what you need to survive. It helps out.” help with food assistance. - Ohio Benefit Bank Clients - * The study took place in three phases over a six to eight month period of time. It was funded by The Columbus Foundation and designed, conducted and analyzed by Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University.
  10. 10. Study on the Impact of the Ohio Benefit Bank10 OBB Increases Access to Clients Obtain Needed Benefits Benefits  72% who completed the process reported being approved for one  88.5% of clients participating or more benefits, primarily food had completed or were in the assistance. process of finishing the  The OBB experience was positive, application process with their helpful and easy to access. CDJFS.  83% of OBB client respondents rated their OBB experience as excellent or good. “The benefits make life not so bad. They make the difference between having and not having food, but don’t address the other daily stressors “The Benefit Bank provided a wonderful service. of whether to pay bills or buy gas or to look for Very convenient and the lady was really work.” respectful and compassionate.” - Ohio Benefit Bank Client - - Ohio Benefit Bank Client -
  11. 11. Benefits Improve Lives11 Positive Household Impacts Clients experienced short-term improvements Fewer household hardships were reported at phase 3 of the study: In the Prior 3 Months… Reduced By: "Often" ran out of food 18% Used food pantry 16% Moved at least once 18% Missed utility payment 6% "Very often" felt stressed 8% Experienced two or more hardships 6%
  12. 12. OBB Site Models12 Counselor Self-Serve Professional Assisted Edition Edition Edition
  13. 13. Counselor Assisted13  New counselors attend a training offered at many convenient locations.  The trained counselor can educate and assist clients in preparing their applications packages for state agencies who administer the work support programs. The application(s) may take 1-2 hours.  Tax training covers the basics of what is required to complete an income tax return and how to use the program to screen for various tax credits and simplify the process of completing a return.
  14. 14. OBB Self-Serve Site Model14  Clients use the software on their own vs. one-on-one with an OBB Counselor  Detailed reporting of client use at the site available  Perfect model for sites with less resources and time.
  15. 15. OBB Self-Serve15  Ohioans have the option to complete applications for a variety of work support programs by going to  Anyone in Ohio with a household income of $60,000 or less can self-file their income taxes for free.  Visit and click “File your taxes for free today!” on the home page.
  16. 16. OBB Pro16  For agencies with staff that provide more extensive case management services to their clients.  Combines the traditional, easy-to- use Benefit Bank online service with additional case management tools.  OBB Pro counselors are able to work on client applications without the client present.  OBB Pro counselors must be authorized representatives for all of their clients.
  17. 17. Helpful Tools – Quick17 Check Quick Check  Helps to check potential eligibility for various benefits and work support programs.  Is based on the size, income and expenses of the household.  Uses a 5 star rating to indicate how likely a person is to be eligible for the credit or program based on the information provided.  Go to and click “Apply Now”. Household size. Information for each person living in the household is entered. Household income. How much earned and unearned income was there for the tax year? Household expenses. How much is the person’s cost of living? What are their expenses?
  18. 18. Helpful Tools – The Benefit Bank Site Locator18 The Benefit Bank Site Locator provides information for the OBB locations nearby. Click the Benefit Bank Locator link on, enter a zip code and click “Search”. A map and detail list of OBB sites will be displayed.
  19. 19. A Resource for You19 The OBB Express travels throughout the state with two OBB Counselors to bring help & hope to low-income Ohioans. The van is equipped with two workstations, can accommodate up to eight laptops, and can also provide satellite internet service within 50 feet of the van anywhere with a view of the southern sky. To schedule the OBB Express please contact Russell Allen at: 614-221-4336 or Follow the OBB Express blog: The OBB Express is powered by The Columbus Foundation.
  20. 20. How Can I Get Involved?20  Become an OBB Site  Participate in a Pre-Training Orientation, sign an Organization Agreement and have staff or volunteers trained. To sign up, visit:  Complete Benefits and/or Tax Training  Training consists of 2 parts:  Online training at your own pace (max 1.5 hrs) and  In-person training (about 3 hours) offered regionally  Choose the Site Model that works best for your organization: Counselor Assisted, Self-Serve or Professional.  Become a Volunteer  If you don’t currently have a site to work with, we can set you up with a site that could use your help by calling the OBB Hotline at 1-800-648-1176.
  21. 21. How Can I Get Involved?21  Spread the word about The Ohio Benefit Bank  You can help us to gain more volunteers and sites while helping people with critical needs to connect with help and hope  Connect clients with The Ohio Benefit Bank Self- Serve  Take advantage of our free marketing even if you are not an OBB site by calling the OBB hotline at: 1-800-648-1176
  22. 22. The Ohio Benefit Bank Regional Coordinators and Service Areas22
  23. 23. Questions? Thank you very much!23 Jason Elchert Deputy Director 614-221-4336 ext. 224 Maryjo Mace Woodburn Director of Work Support Initiatives 614-221-4336 ext. 268 General Information: 614-221-4336 OBB Hotline: 1-800-648-1176