Provider Education: Using Public Benefits
More than ever, immigrants are forgoing benefits for fear of discovery or retaliation.
The recently leaked draft executive order on Public Charges, which if signed could make it harder for low-income immigrants who use certain benefits to enter the country or obtain a green card, has made the situation especially confusing and threatening. As above, it's important for providers to know what is and what is not true. The landscape is changing rapidly, so keep an eye out for new information from organizations like NILC.
What We Know:
1) Laws & policies about immigrants and public benefits are still the same.
2) Immigrants should never misrepresent information on applications.
3) The Public Charge executive order has NOT been signed. If it is signed, it does not apply to all immigrants (see below for more information)
4) It is still not clear what will happen with DACA. It is recommended that anyone considering submitting a DACA application should first talk to an immigration attorney or a Board of Immigration Appeals-accredited representative.
1) As of now, ACA stands true, and anyone who is eligible should apply.
2) Immigrants should still apply for health coverage through the ACA marketplace. If they are undocumented and applying for someone in their household, they should not provide any information about their immigration status and instead say “I am not applying for health insurance for myself.”
Powerpoint slides from a NILC, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, and Center on Budget & Policy Priorities webinar. Contains information about eligibility for healthcare programs and potential threats to access.
Immigrants & Public Benefits: National
Webpage with articles reviewing the concept of "Public Charge," and how that relates to immigration. While some of the materials are older, the definitions still apply.
Immigrants & Public Benefits: State & Local
Mostly Massachusetts focused, but some broader information as well