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What is good and bad under the new Public Charge Rule

June 8, 2022

Here is the excerpts from USCIS website in pertinent to new Public Charge Rules. This tells you what benefits are allowable and not-allowable under the new rule. Actually, it is rather returning to the old rule in 1999 than a new law.
Q7: Which public benefits does USCIS consider when determining whether an applicant is inadmissible under the public charge ground?
A7: Under the 1999 Interim Field Guidance (PDF), we consider a noncitizen’s past, current, or future receipt of public cash assistance for income maintenance. Public cash assistance for income maintenance includes:
Supplemental Security Income (SSI);
Cash assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program; and State and local cash assistance programs that provide benefits for income maintenance (often called ‘‘General Assistance’’ programs). We also consider institutionalization for long-term care at government expense, such as in a nursing home or mental health institution.
Q8: What public benefit programs does USCIS not consider?
A8: Generally, we do not consider noncash benefits in making public charge determinations. The only noncash benefit we consider is institutionalization for long-term care at government expense. We also do not consider special-purpose cash assistance not intended for income maintenance.
Common examples of noncash benefits include:
  • Medicaid and other health insurance and health services (other than support for long term institutional care), including public assistance for immunizations and for testing and treatment of symptoms of communicable diseases; health clinics; short-term rehabilitation services; and emergency medical services;
  • The Children’s Health Insurance Program;
  • Nutrition programs, including food stamps; the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children; the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program; and other supplementary and emergency food assistance programs;
  • Housing benefits;
  • Energy assistance, such as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program;
  • Emergency disaster relief;
  • Foster care and adoption assistance;
  • Educational assistance, including benefits under the Head Start Act and aid for elementary, secondary, or higher education;
  • Job training programs; and
  • In-kind, community-based programs, services, or assistance (such as soup kitchens, crisis counseling and intervention, and short-term shelter).
We also do not consider state and local programs that are like the federal programs listed above. In addition, we do not consider cash payments that have been earned (such as Title II Social Security benefits), government pensions, and veterans’ benefits, among other forms of earned benefits.