CHA News

Department of Homeland Security Finalizes Public Charge Policies

This post has been archived and contains information that may be out of date.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a final rule that finalizes policies related to making a public charge inadmissibility determination. 

CHA applauds DHS for finalizing policies that ensure individuals who choose to access health-related benefits and other supplemental government services available to them, including most Medicaid benefits (except for long-term institutionalization) and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, will not be penalized when evaluating permanent residency applications.  

DHS will also not consider non-cash benefits provided by other government agencies, including food and nutrition assistance such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; disaster assistance received under the Stafford Act; pandemic assistance; benefits received via a tax credit or deduction; and government pensions or other earned benefits. Receipt of cash-based benefits such as Supplemental Security Income, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and other similar programs will not automatically exclude an individual from admission or green card eligibility and will instead be considered in a “totality of the circumstances” analysis. 

In the comments CHA submitted in response to the proposed rulemaking, CHA praised DHS for proposing policies that address many of the concerns that contributed to the chilling effect of the 2019 public charge final rule. CHA strongly supported proposed policies that limit public charge determinations to specific benefits for subsistence, consideration of the totality of circumstances, and clarifying that only receipt of public benefits by named beneficiaries are considered in public charge inadmissibility determinations.