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Public Charge Issue

The comment period for the public charge rule proposal is now open and will be available through December 10, 2018. We invite you to submit your comment to help reach the national goal of 100,000 comments. Comments can be submitted by Community Health Center organizations as well as their board members, staff, patients, partners and advocates.

Click here to visit the comment page

On Sept. 22, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) posted an advance copy of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) related to the public charge ground of inadmissibility, before formally publishing it in the NPRM in the Federal Register. This is the first step to broadening the types of programs that can be consider for denying permanent legal status or denying a green card making a rule change on Public Charge. Please use the links below to learn more about public charges, know which programs are included in the public charge test, who is affected by the public charge test, and more. 

This is an especially important issue for Community Health Centers and other healthcare providers due to the inclusion of Medicaid, and possibly CHIP benefits, in the determination of whether or not an applicant for Permanent Legal Residency is considered a public charge. As more misinformation is disseminated about this issue it will negatively impact CHC patients and the communities the CHCs serve. We are already seeing an impact in the communities we serve - people are dropping their benefits leaving their children and families without proper health care access or access to nutrition services. 

What is public charge?

Public charge“ is defined as an individual who is likely to become “primarily” dependent on the U.S. government for their basic needs to survive. Until now, this rule has applied to the receipt of public cash assistance for income maintenance, or institutionalization for long-term care at government expense. The Department of Homeland Security is now looking to change this rule, which has been in effect for over 100 years, to include a wider range of benefits. 

Click on the following links to access our resources:

- Comment page on

- Tips for submitting effective comments

- Talking points to help you prepare your comment

- Step by step guide to submit your comments regarding proposed changes to the public charge rule

- AACHC fact sheet regarding the public charge proposed rule

- Hoja de información sobre los cambios propuestos para el cargo público

- Public Charge Summary

- Datos sobre los cambios al cargo público