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Public Charge and Coronavirus

Family Medicine
September 9, 2020
Public Charge and Coronavirus  information for Washington and Oregon

Public charge tests are causing many families to unnecessarily forego COVID-19 testing and treatment to protect their immigration status. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has stated that the agency will NOT consider “testing, treatment, nor preventative care (including vaccines, if a vaccine becomes available) related to COVID-19” in a public charge determination.

Furthermore, the public charge test only looks at the benefits received by the individual who is applying and does not take into account any benefits received by the individual’s children or other family members. Please do not hesitate to seek testing and/or treatment for COVID-19 if you or a family member are exhibiting symptoms.  

Those with questions or concerns about the impact of using public benefits on their immigration status should explore the resources available below or contact an immigration attorney: 

Washington Residents:  

  • CLEAR Hotline: 1-888-201-1014 
  • Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP): 
  • NWIRP Seattle Office: 206-587-4009 
  • NWIRP Yakima Valley (Granger) Office: 509-854-2100 
  • NWIRP Wenatchee Office: 509-570-0054 


Oregon Residents:  

  • Call the Oregon Public Benefits Hotline at 1-800-520-5292 for free assistance, or  
  • Go online to find an immigration attorney at 


For those looking to help keep their communities healthy and want to ensure access without fear, make your voice heard: