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Click to Introduce Bill Addressing Public Assistance Benefits Cliffs

The bipartisan legislation is designated as the Actionable Help And New Dignity for Upward Progression (A HAND UP) Act
August 31, 2021
Gary Click News

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State Rep. Gary Click (R-Vickery) is set to soon introduce the A HAND UP Act, which seeks to minimize the public assistance benefits cliffs within Ohio. The primary goal is to assist those on public assistance programs in a way that creates opportunity to integrate into the workforce. Click is primary sponsor alongside State Rep. Dontavius Jarrells (D-Columbus).

“We want to give people the dignity of work and reward upward career progression rather than punish it,” said Click. “To improve our workforce, it’s vital we turn consumers into contributors and that’s the intent of this bill.”

Click noted his mother as an inspiration for the bill as he saw how a benefits cliff hurt her from a career perspective. Additionally, Click points out that many on unemployment are on it cyclically multiple times.

Provisions in the bill seek to address the issue by:

  • Eliminating barriers individuals face in transitioning from public assistance to work;
  • Transitioning public assistance recipients from consumers of state resources into contributors to Ohio's economy;
  • Removing hindrances to financial independence and replacing them with incentives that lead to independence;
  • Replacing the benefits cliff with a bridge to opportunity; and
  • Streamlining the public assistance process to promote effective communication and coordination by agencies providing assistance through a centralized process that improves information and direction to public assistance recipients.

Throughout the early inception of the anticipated legislation, Click has been in contact with both agencies and the business community alike to collaborate on the bill.

The legislation currently awaits its official introduction.