General Resources

This hotline provides general information and referrals on immigration-related questions and other social services available to immigrants. Calls are anonymous, remain confidential, and are answered in different languages. No legal advice is offered on these calls. Not affiliated with US Citizen and immigration service.

Monday through Friday 9am to 8pm

1800-566-7636 NYS only

1212-419-3737 Outside of NYS

Public Charge allows the US Government to deny a non-Citizen admission into the United States or deny an application for a green card if the non-Citizen is “liable or likely to become a public charge.”

On February 2, 2021, President Biden issued Executive Order 14012 which stated the Department of Justice was no longer to defend the 2019 Rule put into place by the Trump Administration. “The 2019 Public Charge Rule was not in keeping with our nation’s values. It penalized those who access health benefits and other government services available to them.”

Relevant to Public Charge:

  1. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  2. Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  3. State and local cash assistance programs
  4. Medicaid for long term institutionalized care

The Government must consider the entire situation, not just benefits use. If you currently use or have used public cash assistance, you can show that you won’t need it in the future. If you use long term Medicaid for institutionalized care, you need to be able to show that you can get the medical care you need without relying on Medicaid in the future.

Many immigrants are exempt from public charge review. If they are concerned about receipt of benefits, they can speak to an attorney before enrolling/disenrolling from benefits.

  • New Americans Hotline at 1-800-566-7636
  • The Legal Aid Society’s Access to Benefits (A2B) Helpline at 888-663-6880
  • NYC Action 8- 00-354-0365, or they can call 311 and say “ActionNYC,” between 9AM to 6PM, Monday to Friday