Beginning February 24, 2020, there are new rules affecting some immigrants who use public benefits. To help reduce confusion and fear, here are 4 key messages about who is and is not affected.

You can find more in-depth information on our

Here are four things to know:

1. Marketplace financial help is not a public benefit


Using financial help for premiums or cost-sharing reductions from will not impact immigration status. The financial help (tax credits) from are not public benefits. (Note: undocumented immigrants are not and have never been eligible for premium subsidies through

2. Most immigrants can still safely use public benefits

The public charge policy will affect a small number of the immigrant population. The public charge rule is only used when someone applies for a green card, a visa, to renew a visa or change their status.

The following immigrant groups are not affected by any current or proposed policy:

3. Only specific public benefits can negatively affect the status

For immigrants who are not on the above list and who will apply for or change their status inside the US, Immigration only looks at the benefits the consumer uses, not what their children or other family use.

Use of benefits by military members and their families will not count against them on their immigration application.

Only the following programs can negatively affect status:

· BadgerCare Plus Healthcare (Medicaid or ForwardHealth) for adults. Except for anyone under age 21, Emergency Services for adults & children, or care for pregnant women until 60 days after the birth of the baby.

· Housing assistance from Public Housing or Section 8

· Food assistance from FoodShare (food stamps, QUEST, or EBT)

· Cash benefits from Wisconsin Works (W2) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

· Assisted living, nursing home, or home care paid for by a Medicaid long-term care program.

From the above list, Immigration will consider the number and type of benefits used, for how long, and how recent the use was.


4. Using public benefits does not automatically make a person a public charge

When deciding if a person will become a public charge, Immigration officials look at:

· age

· health

· income

· assets

· resources

· education/skills

· family size

· public benefit use

Having a job or health insurance can be weighed against other factors like having used certain benefits or having a health condition. The consumer will have the chance to show why he or she is not likely to rely on certain benefits in the future. For more resources on public charge click here.





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