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Benefits and Immigration: How Using Government Aid Could Take You Out of Your Eligibility to Live in the United States

In March 2021, the US Department of Homeland Security decided to abandoning the Public Charge rule edited by 2019 years (the rule making it unacceptable in the United States of immigrants receiving certain benefits). Many decided that the rule was completely abolished, but in fact it was simply returned to the format that was before the presidency of Donald Trump. The Public Charge Rule has existed since 1999, and its old edition is still used today. This means that any immigrant can lose the right to receive or renew a green card for using certain benefits.

Photo: Shutterstock

So that the problems associated with the use of benefits do not catch our readers by surprise, we decided to clarify the application of the Public Charge rule in the current edition. It is especially important that it can take into account medical benefits, because the issue of health is now in the first place in the world. Experts from a New York insurance company helped us figure out which medical benefits do not pose a threat to your immigration status. Fidelis care. You can get a personal consultation on this issue on the website, by phone (347) 642-2993 or by e-mail Consultation in Russian is possible.

В Fidelis Care immediately emphasized the fundamental difference between the current version of the Public Charge rule and the Trump version. Medicaid can now only jeopardize your immigration status if this concessional insurance covers your long-term care stay. Short term hospitalizations and other medical services received through Medicaid are no longer eligible for Public Charge.

What is Public Charge

Public Charge (translated as "public burden") is a foreigner who has become, or is likely to become, "predominantly dependent on the US government for its survival."

The reason for applying the Public Charge rule to an immigrant can be one of two:

  1. Getting them federal cash aid.
  2. Placement in a specialized long-term care facility at public expense.

What kind of care formats are in question, you can find out from the specialists of the insurance company Fidelis care... Phone: (347) 642-2993, e-mail:

A foreigner wishing to enter America or seeking permanent resident status (green card) will be deemed “unacceptable” to the United States if, during the consideration of his application for entry or change of status, the immigration agent determines that the foreigner is “most likely to become a Public Charge at any time during your stay in the United States. ”

When deciding on “ineligibility”, officials must take into account the foreigner's age, health, marital status, assets, resources and financial situation, as well as education and skills. This is a minimal set of factors, but it can be expanded on a case-by-case basis. Any decision to deny entry or change of status based on a Public Charge rule must reflect consideration of each of these factors and specifically state the reasons for the immigration officer's decision.

Benefits that threaten the use of an immigrant with the application of the Public Charge rule

Income adjustment cash aid and institutional placement for long-term care at public expense may result in the Public Charge rule being applied to an immigrant.

Programs that provide such benefits:

1. Additional social income (SSI - Supplemental Security Income);

2. Temporary assistance to needy families (TANF - Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), as well as Safety Net Assistance, provided as cash payments;

3. State and local financial assistance programs, which provide benefits for individuals or families with a certain level of income (often such programs are classified as General Assistance);

4. Programs (including Medicaid) through which state financial support is provided to foreigners placed in specialized institutions for long-term care, for example, nursing homes or psychiatric institutions.

Detailed advice on medical benefits and their impact on immigration status can be obtained from the specialists of the insurance company Fidelis care... Phone: (347) 642-2993, e-mail: Consultation in Russian is possible.

Photo: Shutterstock

Benefits that cannot be used as a reason for applying the Public Charge rule to an immigrant

Non-cash benefits and special cash assistance that is not intended to adjust income levels should not be considered in determining Public Charge status. Therefore, receiving these benefits in the past, present, or future does not affect the immigrant's eligibility to become a permanent resident of the United States.

So, what benefits cannot be the basis for applying the Public Charge rule:

1. Medicaid and other health insurance and medical services (including government assistance for immunization and for testing and treating infectious diseases; use of polyclinics, short-term rehabilitation services and emergency medical services). The only exception in this case, as mentioned above, payment at the state expense of a person's stay in a specialized long-term care institution.

2. Children's health insurance program (CHP - Child Health Plus);

3. Nutrition programs, including food stamps, the Special Complementary Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the National School Lunch Program, and other complementary and emergency food assistance programs;

4. Housing benefits;

5. Preferential childcare services;

6. Assistance in paying utility bills, such as the Low Income Electricity Payment Assistance Program (LIHEAP);

7. Help in case of natural disasters;

8. Financial assistance for adoption;

9. Educational assistance, including benefits under the Head Start Act and assistance with primary, secondary, or tertiary education;

10. Preferential vocational training programs;

11. Community programs, services or assistance (eg free public canteens, crisis counseling, and short-term shelter).

Under the Public Charge rule, prospective immigrants can be denied visas or entry permits due to their disability or lack of economic resources if it is determined that they could become a “Public Charge”. Don't discount this rule and use your benefits wisely.

Material prepared in partnership with

Fidelis care

1-888-FIDELIS (1-888-343-3547)
External Relations Specialist Leonid Kopeikin: (347) 642-2993

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Miscellanea immigration green card Educational program Fidelis care Public charge
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