Many immigrants living in the United States are hesitant to use public benefits because they fear it will affect their immigration status. A lot of that fear comes from a rule known as Public Charge.
On October 11, the courts stopped proposed changes to the public charge rule from taking effect. People should continue to use Medi-Cal, Section 8, Public Housing and CalFresh without fear. Please check in for updates, as the court cases are still pending.
Note that our Home Visiting programs are not included in the Public Charge rules proposed.
For detailed information and helpful guide on how public charge rules apply public benefits, visit Keep Your Benefits (English) or (Spanish)
Does Public Charge apply to me?
Are you or your family members U.S. citizens?
Public Charge does not apply to you.
Do you or your family members already have green cards?
Public charge and any changes under new rules rule WILL NOT impact you when you renew your green card or apply to become a U.S. Citizen. However, if you plan to leave the country for more than 6 months, it is a good idea to talk with an immigration attorney
Are you applying for or have one of the following statuses: TPS, U or T Visa, Asylum or Refugee status, or Special Immigrant Juvenile Status?
The public charge test does NOT apply to all immigrants, including the categories listed here. If you already have or are in the process of applying for one of these immigration statuses, you can continue to use any government programs that you qualify for.
Does your family plan to apply for a green card or visa from inside the United States?
Right now, changes to public charge rules only apply to immigrants who have applications processed outside the United States. For those applying inside the United States, only the use of cash assistance and long term care programs will be considered in your public charge test. You should continue to use the health, housing and nutrition programs you are eligible for.
Does your family plan to apply for a green card or visa from outside the United States?
If you or a family member will have a visa or green card application processed abroad, new rules may apply to you. You should talk with an expert for advice on your case
before making any decisions. For free or low-cost options in your area, go to Legal Directory.