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What's a Public Charge? Will getting help from the Goverment and food stamps or medicare cause me problems with immigration?

The United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) released a fact sheet clarifying the issue of what benefits can make one a public charge. 

Accepting the following can lead to a public charge determination (detemined on a case by case basis):

-Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
-Cash assistance from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program
-State or local cash assistance programs for income maintenance (general assistance programs)

Others that do not lead to a negative determination:
-Medicaid and other health insurance and health services (including public assistancefor immunizations and for testing and treatment of symptoms of communicable diseases, use of health clinics, short-term rehabilitation services, prenatal care and emergency medical services) other than support for long-term institutional care
-Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
-Nutrition programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program(SNAP) commonly referred to as Food Stamps
-the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
-the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program, and other supplementary and emergency food assistance programs
-Housing benefits
-Child care services
-Energy assistance, such as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program(LIHEAP)    
-Emergency disaster relief    
-Foster care and adoption assistance    
-Educational assistance (such as attending public school), including benefits under theHead Start Act and aid for elementary, secondary or higher education    
-Job training programs
-In-kind, community-based programs, services or assistance (such as soup kitchens,    
crisis counseling and intervention, and short-term shelter)
-Non-cash benefits under TANF such as subsidized child care or transit subsidies
-Cash payments that have been earned, such as Title II Social Security benefits,government pensions, and veterans' benefits, and other forms of earned benefits
-Unemployment compensation

Ricky Malik, Esq.
Law Offices of Ricky Malik


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