YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A new tool is now available statewide to make signing up for Ohio food stamps, Medicaid and cash services easier.

The new electronic signature process will save time when applying for certain benefits by phone, according to Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) Director Matt Damschroder.

Customers would receive a link on their smartphone, review their rights and responsibilities and sign in real-time.

“Beginning today, residents in all 88 counties will be able to apply, renew, or recertify for Medicaid, SNAP, cash assistance, and publicly funded child care right from their smartphone,” Damschroder said. “The e-signature program is not mandatory, but it will be a time-saver for those who participate.”

The process could save up to 20 minutes compared to the existing telephonic signature process.

The tool has been tested in several Ohio counties including Columbiana. Other counties that tested the tool include Summit, Ross, Vinton, Hocking, Cuyahoga, Franklin, Coshocton, Fairfield, Guernsey, Licking, Monroe, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, and Wayne.

“We’ve had a great deal of positive feedback from both counties and customers during the pilot period,” Damschroder said.

Customers can still mail, drop off, or fax applications to their county office to apply, renew, or recertify their benefits, or they can complete the same applications through the online Self-Service Portal (SSP).