DHS’s Final Rule on Public Charge

DHS’s final public charge rule has been posted to the Federal Register. The official publication is scheduled for Wednesday August 14th.

If litigation does not stop the rule from taking effect, the policy will become effective in 60 days after publication, October 15th.

Your organization can join the Protect Immigrant Families Public Charge Rule Finalization - Campaign Webinar WEDNESDAY at 12:00pm ET (9:00am PT). This webinar,will provide a deeper dive into content of the rule and provide updates

Please share accurate information as misinfo may cause people to not seek services that they may need and qualify for. This rule change only applies to people subject to the public charge test (applicants for admission to the United States, aliens seeking to adjust their status to that of lawful permanent residents from within the United States, and aliens within the United States who hold a nonimmigrant visa and seek to extend their stay). 

This rule change does not affect a past, current, or future receipt of public benefits by U.S. citizens or aliens whom Congress has exempted from the public charge, such as refugees, asylees, Afghans and Iraqis with special immigrant visas, and certain nonimmigrant trafficking and crime victims, individuals applying under the Violence Against Women Act, special immigrant juveniles, or to those who DHS has granted a waiver of public charge inadmissibility.  This rule change also does not affect people who, at the time of receipt, or at the time of filing the application for admission, adjustment of status, extension of stay, or change of status, is enlisted in the U.S. armed forces, or is serving in active duty or in any of the Ready Reserve components of the U.S. armed forces, and will not consider the receipt of public benefits by the spouse and children of such service members. The rule further provides that DHS will not consider public benefits received by children, including adopted children.

This rule change does not affect Medicaid benefits received: (1) for the treatment of an “emergency medical condition,” (2) as services or benefits provided in connection with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, (3) as school-based services or benefits provided to individuals who are at or below the oldest age eligible for secondary education as determined under State or local law, (4) by aliens under the age of 21, and (5) by pregnant women and by women within the 60-day period beginning on the last day of the pregnancy. 

This rule change only considers public benefits received directly by the applicant for the applicant’s own benefit, or where the applicant is a listed beneficiary of the public benefit. DHS will not consider public benefits received on behalf of another as a legal guardian or pursuant to a power of attorney for such a person. DHS will not attribute receipt of a public benefit by one or more members of the applicant’s household to the applicant unless the applicant is also a listed beneficiary of the public benefit. 

Benefits Subject to Public Charge Consideration will be expanded with this rule change and we will update this post with more accurate info when the rule is published. None of these changes will happen until October 15th at the soonest.

Public charge benefits as listed in the rule change so far:   

  • Any federal, state, local, or tribal cash assistance for income maintenance   

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

  • Federal, state or local cash benefit programs for income maintenance (often called “General Assistance” in the state context, but which may exist under other names)  

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or formerly called “Food Stamps”) 

  • Section 8 Housing Assistance under the Housing Choice Voucher Program 

  • Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance (including Moderate Rehabilitation)  

  • Public Housing under section 9 the Housing Act of 1937, 42 U.S.C. 1437 et seq. 

  • Federally funded Medicaid (with certain exclusions) 

Programs not considered as a public charge:  

  • The receipt of Medicaid for the treatment of an emergency medical condition;  

  • Services or benefits funded by Medicaid but provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act;  

  • School-based services or benefits provided to individuals who are at or below the oldest age eligible for secondary education as determined under state or local law;  

  • Medicaid benefits received by an alien under 21 years of age; or  

  • Medicaid benefits received by a woman during pregnancy and during the 60-day period beginning on the last day of the pregnancy. 

This Fight Isn’t Over.

Public servants, advocates, and regular people all over the country will continue to stand up, speak out, and fight back to protect immigrant families and our country’s future.

There will be lawsuits and that may change the rule or the date it goes into affect.

Please keep updated as misinfo may cause people to not seek services that they may need and qualify for.

 

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