Public Charge Resources

Posted: February 28, 2020
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Beginning February 24, 2020, the new public charge rule used for immigrants entering the country or applying for permanent residency took effect. The Department of Homeland Security has clarified that the agency will only apply the new rule to applications and petitions submitted on or after February 24, 2020 and will not consider benefits applied for, used or received before Monday, February 24, 2020. Click HERE to read the full announcement.

U.S.Citizenship and Immigration Services: New Guidance on Public Charge Regarding Coronavirus

As of Friday, March 13, USCIS encourages anyone with symptoms that resemble coronavirus or COVID-19 to seek necessary medical treatment or preventative services. Immigrants who undergo medical testing or treatment related to it will not be penalized when applying for naturalization under the newly enacted public charge rule. See new guidance from USCIS here.

CCALAC Joins Partners to Address Public Charge Intersection with Coronavirus

On Monday, March 9, a coalition of health care providers and non-profits held a press conference to reach out to immigrants who may be apprehensive about seeking medical attention due to the public charge rule, which took effect in late-February. CCALAC’s President & CEO, Louise McCarthy, and Clinica Msr. Oscar Romero’s Executive Director, Carlos Vaquerano, spoke about the fear surrounding the public charge rule and its impact on Los Angeles’ immigrant community during a time when Coronavirus concerns are rapidly increasing and access to healthcare is more important than ever. Read more from ABC7 here and from Vox News here.

Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) 24/7 Hotline

CHIRLA provides a 24-hour immigrant assistance hotline. The hotline is staffed by bilingual referral specialists who understand that in California, immigrants have the right to medical care, without regard to their immigration status. Visit the CHIRLA Immigrant Resources page here for more information for immigrant communities on seeking testing and/or medical care for COVID-19.

Public Charge & Health Insurance in California- Western Center on Law & Poverty

WCLP provides health care practice tips with details on exemptions and exclusions related to public charge. Click here to download the document.

CHIRLA 24/7 Hotline: 1-888-624-4752

 Office of the Governor: California Immigrant Guide (Public Charge & COVID-19)

NEW! Neighborhood Legal Services LA County(NLSLA) Public Charge FAQ 

NLSLA “Know Your Rights” Flyers – English | Spanish

Health Care Practice Tip from Western Center on Law and Poverty

Public Charge Guide from the California Health and Human Services Agency

Protecting Immigrant Families (PIF)  Resources (Updated February 14, 2020)

Keep Your Benefits – Public Charge Assessment Tool (Updated January 27, 2020)

PIF California and partner organizations, including Legal Aid of San Mateo County, created a screening tool to share with immigrant communities. The tool was developed by benefits experts and immigration lawyers to help individuals understand if “public charge” is likely to apply to them given their immigration status and/or public benefits use.

Go to (English)

Go to (Spanish)

Access by text at 650-376-8006:

  • Text ‘benefits’ for English
  • Text ‘libre’ for Spanish
  • Text ‘福利’ for Chinese
  • Text ‘lợiích’ for Vietnamese

Keep Your Benefits CA: Public Charge Information & Resources 

Immigrant Eligibility for COVID-19 Benefits – English | Spanish | Chinese 

PIF Specialized Resources for Advocates and Service Providers

All PIF Resources

Resources from Neighborhood Legal Services – Los Angeles

  • Public Charge Hotline (for information or a referral. Free & Confidential): 1-800-433-6251 (LA County)

My Health LA Public Charge Flyers 

NACHC Health Center Specific Frequently Asked Questions

Health Center Rights in Providing Information about Public Charge to Patients (FAQ)

Legal Resources 

Resources from Coalitions & Organizations