Public Charge Rule

Los Angeles County Office of Immigrant Affairs Welcomes Public Charge Rule Change Announcement

La Oficina de Asuntos de Inmigrantes del Condado de Los Ángeles da la bienvenida al anuncio de cambio de regla de carga pública. Lea nuestra declaración en español

The Los Angeles County Office of Immigrant Affairs (OIA) in the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA) welcomes the Sept. 8, 2022 announcement of the new “public charge” regulation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This rule strengthens protections for immigrant families seeking to access critical programs, resources and services offered by Los Angeles County and other public agencies. While the Biden administration already reversed the Trump-era public charge policy in March 2021, today’s announcement clarifies which programs are considered in a public charge determination, as well as the many important programs and resources not considered. Importantly, a child or other family member’s use of safety net programs will never affect the immigration applicant of a relative or household member under this rule.

This rule change, which formally takes effect on Dec. 23, 2022, is an important reminder that eligible immigrants and their household members can access housing, nutrition and health care programs without concern about the impact on their immigration status. This is especially important in light of California’s recent expansion of Medi-Cal to all income-eligible persons 50 or older regardless of immigration status. The rule clarifies that only long-term institutionalized care at government expense, or use of cash assistance for income maintenance such as SSI, TANF (CalWorks), and state, local and tribal cash assistance, may be considered in a public charge determination.

Sadly, thousands of immigrant families in the County have been deterred from seeking critical resources during the pandemic on account of public charge concerns, even after the Biden administration reversed the Trump-era rule. Today’s announcement provides an important opportunity to undo that harm. The OIA looks forward to partnering with community stakeholders to help immigrant families learn about this important rule change and safely access many important programs and resources without concern about immigration status consequences.

For more information, contact the OIA at 800-593-8222 to speak with a counselor.

Updated Sept. 15, 2022

Timeline and Implementation

December 23, 2022: Scheduled effective date of new public charge regulation.

September 8, 2022: Biden Administration announces new public charge regulation that increases protections for immigrant families.

March 9, 2021: The Biden Administration ends the Trump era public charge rule and returns to the longstanding 1999 public charge policy.

February 22, 2021: The Supreme Court agrees to hear new legal challenges filed to stop the 2019 public charge rule due to its public health impact during the pandemic.

February 24, 2020: After several courts block implementation of the Trump Administration public charge rule, the U.S. Supreme Court overturns those decisions and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services begins implementing the new rule.

August 2019: Trump Administration announces public charge regulation, scheduled to take effect in October 2019.