Bridges is a voluntary benefits program, funded by Title IV-E of the 42 U.S.C. 675(8) (12/2015) per section 5101.1414 of the Revised Code, with the intended outcome of an eligible young adult gaining skills to self-sufficiency. Bridges provides an eligible young adult assistance with stable housing, support to complete educational goals, employment resources, and access to community resources.
(A) A bridges representative must be contacted to apply for services.
(B) In order for an applicant to be eligible for bridges, all of the following must be met:
(1) An applicant was in the custody of a public children services agency (PCSA) in Ohio upon attaining the age of eighteen; and
(2) An applicant has attained the age of eighteen but not attained the age of twenty- one; and
(3) An applicant has left the custody of a PCSA; and
(4) An applicant satisfies at least one of the following eligibility criteria:
(a) Completing a secondary education or a program leading to an equivalent credential;
(b) Enrolled in an institution that provides post-secondary or vocational education;
(c) Participating in a program or activity designed to promote, or remove barriers to, employment;
(d) Employed for at least eighty hours per month;
(e) Incapable of doing any of the activities as described in paragraphs (B)(4) (a) to (B)(4)(d) of this rule due to a diagnosed physical or mental health condition.
(C) The applicant, with the assistance of the bridges representative, shall submit the necessary supporting documentation to verify eligibility criteria. Documentation may include but is not limited to any of the following:
(1) School or college enrollment letter;
(2) Current class schedule;
(3) Most recent employment paystub;
(4) Letter from job training program verifying participation;
(5) Written verification from a qualified practitioner stating how a physical or mental health condition prevents participation in activities described in paragraphs (B) (4)(a) to (B)(4)(d) of this rule.
(D) The bridges representative shall submit a completed and signed application along with supporting documentation to the Ohio department of job and family services (ODJFS) for the approval process.
(E) An applicant approved for bridges participation shall sign a JFS 01617 "Bridges Voluntary Participation Agreement" (12/2017) pursuant to section 5101.1412 of the Revised Code.
(F) Within forty-five calendar days of the JFS 01617 effective date, a bridges liaison shall work with the bridges participant to develop a bridges plan. The plan shall be personalized at the direction of the participant and as detailed as the participant chooses, which includes a review of the final transition plan completed by the PCSA or PCPA as outlined in rule 5101:2-42-19 of the Administrative Code.
(1) The plan shall include options regarding:
(a) Health care including:
(i) Health insurance;
(ii) Healthcare power of attorney;
(iii) Participant's option to execute power of attorney.
(b) Employment services and work force supports.
(c) Secondary and post secondary education and training.
(d) Obtaining and paying for housing.
(e) Mentor opportunities and ongoing supportive services.
(2) A copy of the plan shall be provided to the bridges participant within seven calendar days of its approval date.
(3) The bridges plan will be reviewed ninety calendar days after its approval date, with subsequent reviews occurring every ninety calendar days thereafter.
(4) Any bridges plan amendment needed based on a review shall be completed within seven calendar days of the review approval date.
(5) The bridges plan and review shall be submitted to court fourteen calendar days prior to any scheduled hearing.
(G) A bridges participant must maintain continued eligibility which may be reviewed by the bridges representative at anytime. If a participant fails to maintain eligibility, the bridges representative shall notify the participant in writing of ineligibility and possible termination from bridges as outlined in rule 5101:2-50-03 of the Administrative Code.
(H) If a bridges application is denied, the applicant shall be sent a JFS 01618 "Bridges Notice of Denial" (12/2017) by the bridges representative no later than three business days after the application is denied by ODJFS. The denial notice shall inform the applicant of the reason for denial and the right to appeal the decision as outlined in rule 5101:2-50-05 of the Administrative Code.