Public Charge

Public Charge

On August 14, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security published the Public Charge Final Rule. On October 11, 2019, federal judges in New York, California, and Washington state issued injunctions temporarily blocking the implementation of the Public Charge Rule. The rule is not retroactive, therefore any services used now and during these injunctions will not be considered in a future public charge determination. 

Please continue to receive the services you are entitled to. This rule is not in effect yet.

How has the Public Charge Rule changed?

The Final Rule changes the definition of Public Charge by creating an additional basis for denying Legal Permanent Residency (Green Card) to applicants who have used, or are considered “likely” to use, public benefits including Medicaid (Medi-Cal), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps), Federal Public Housing and Section 8 assistance, or cash assistance under SSI, TANF or similar state, local, or tribal programs. 

Who is impacted? 

  • The Rule only impacts people applying to become a lawful permanent resident for the first time, applying to enter the United States, and lawful permanent residents who left the U.S. for six months or more.
  • The rule does not apply to: 
    • Self-petitioners under the Violence Against Women Act
    • Refugees, asylees, survivors of domestic violence, survivors of trafficking and other serious crimes, and certain other protected groups
  • In regards to utilizing Medi-Cal health services, the following are exempt:
    • Children younger than 21 years of age
    • Pregnant women up to 60 days after giving birth
    • Restricted-scope emergency Medi-Cal
    • State-funded health programs including Medi-Cal for income-eligible undocumented young adults up to age 26 under the Young Adult expansion (program effective January 2020)

AltaMed is not a legal entity and does not provide legal advice. Please consult an immigration attorney to determine if the proposed public charge changes apply to you. 

To learn more and for information regarding legal entities that can answer additional questions please follow this link to the Public Charge Fact Sheet. You may also contact the AltaMed Government Relations Department.

AltaMed is here to serve you, and we remain committed to our patients and our community.