SLO County Health Access Update
Connecting Children Ages 0-5 to Health Care

Our apologies -- an error in last week's Public Charge newsletter said that children using services would not be considered under the new regulations.  
The correct information is: Use of Medi-Cal services by children under 21 will not be considered when making a public charge determination. Use of Cash Support for Income Maintenance, CalFresh and housing services for children under 21 will still be part of the public charge determination for the individual applying for a green card.  
The rule is complex, and families may need legal advice. Use these three simple messages with your clients:
  • The final public charge rule mainly affects immigrants applying for Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR or "green card") status within the U.S. through a family-based petition.
  • Many immigrant categories are exempt from the public charge test (U visa, T-Visa, VAWA, SIJS, Asylees and Refugees, and others).
  • Many public programs are not considered for the public charge test. These include WIC, school meals, food distributions, Emergency Medi-Cal, pregnancy-only Medi-Cal, etc.
  • The public charge test looks at all of a person's circumstances. Each family's circumstances are different and they will need to make their own choices about which services to use. No two cases are the same. What may be good advice for one client, may not be the best advice for another. Individuals should get qualified legal advice so they can evaluate their immigration situation and be in a better position to make the best decisions for their families.
Let's Talk About Public Charge

Getting the Help You Need

The two information handouts above for providers and families are currently only in English. Check back soon for Spanish versions on this website:

Five Things to Know About Public Charge

Community Messages (English and Spanish)

A short update on the Public Charge changes:
In Spanish:
In English: 

Legal Assistance
For individual cases, consult an immigration attorney or a BIA-accredited representative:
Catholic Charities:
Staff Training
Contact us if you would like staff training on the public charge rule. Email Becca at or call (805) 674-0776.
Health Access Information at
A First 5 SLO County Funded Program has a wealth of information to help you help families, with local resources related to:
   * Special Needs     
   * Behavioral Health
   * Immigration: safety and service access  
   * Dental
   * Prescriptions
   * Medi-Cal & Covered CA
   * Transportation
   * Parental Substance Use, and 
   * R esources to help parents advocate for services

General needs and system navigation:
Send families in need of help to their local Family Resource Center : 

Can't find an answer? 
Let us know and we will find you  the  informati on  you are looking for.  For general questions about health ac cess and health care refo rm,  contact:
Becca Carsel, Health Access Project Director,  
at (805) 674-0776 or .phone