March 2021 update: 2019 public charge rule no longer in effect

GREAT NEWS: Use of programs like SNAP, federal housing assistance, or Medicaid will no longer be negatively factored into public charge assessments

On March 9, 2021, The U.S. Department of Justice decided to stop defending the 2019 revision of the public charge rule which had been challenged in various courts across the nation. The end result is the public charge rule that has frightened many people from accessing public benefits is no longer in effect. Use of programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), federal housing assistance, or Medicaid will no longer be negatively factored into public charge assessments.

To learn more about the public programs being considered in the current public charge determination rule and to assist clients and families, you can:

  1. Let them know that the new rule is not retroactive and a myriad of factors (totality of circumstances) are considered when making a public charge determination.
  2. Encourage them to seek legal counsel for individual circumstances or outstanding concerns.

Our Position

Families shouldn’t be punished for accepting help when they need it, no matter where they are from. Oklahoma communities thrive when everyone has the opportunity to build a better life with access to adequate food, housing and medical care.

Check Out the Latest.

Biden administration stops enforcing Trump-era “public charge” green card restrictions following court order,
by Camilo Montoya-Galvez, CBS News

“Under the 1999 interim field guidance, DHS will not consider a person’s receipt of Medicaid (except for Medicaid for long-term institutionalization), public housing, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits as part of the public charge inadmissibility determination,” the department said in a statement.”

What is Public Charge?

Under current policy, participation in a very narrow range of programs is counted against legal immigrants applying for legal permanent residency. This policy is referred to as “Public Charge”. Under the new rule, the Public Charge policy will be expanded to include participation in basic programs like SNAP (food stamps), Medicaid – short-term rehabilitative care, and Section 8 housing assistance.