The 2019 public charge rule (often known as the ‘final public charge rule’) has been removed. The previous guidance from 1999 is in effect as of March 9, 2021.
In 2019, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final public charge rule. The final rule expanded which public benefit programs were considered in a public charge determination and the factors considered in the “totality of circumstances test” used during an application. In March 2021, the Biden Administration decided to stop defending the 2019 rule in existing court cases and an injunction, preventing the implementation of the rule, went into effect. DHS then announced that it will return to using guidance from 1999 in public charge determinations.
Under the 1999 guidance, the only benefits considered are ‘cash assistance for income maintenance’ and ‘institutionalization for long-term care at government expense.’ Food and nutrition programs, housing programs, and Medicaid for everything except long-term are not considered.
The following resources are designed to aid assisters when working with clients. Information included is not intended to provide legal advice.
- CKF Public Charge Timeline – March 2021
- CKF job aid: Key Points for Assisters to Help Clients Understand Public Charge
- Public Charge and COVID-19:
- CKF job aid: Job Aid – Key Points for Assisters to Help Clients Understand COVID-19 and Public Charge
- CKF handout for clients: COVID-19 and Public Charge for Clients 3.20.20
- Center for Health Progress resources: http://coalition.centerforhealthprogress.org/resources/
- Free or low-cost immigration attorneys in Colorado: https://www.immigrationadvocates.org/nonprofit/legaldirectory/search?state=CO
- Protecting Immigrant Families national campaign resources available here: https://protectingimmigrantfamilies.org/analysis-research/ including,
- National Immigration Law Center resources available here: https://www.nilc.org/issues/economic-support/pubcharge/