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WashingtonLawHelp.orgWashington LawHelp

Immigrants and Coronavirus (COVID-19): You Can Get Care Without Fear

Authored By: Northwest Justice Project
Read this in:
Spanish / Español

Under the law, everyone is eligible for testing and treatment of communicable diseases, including coronavirus. This includes people without legal immigration status. #8119EN

Contents

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I don't have legal immigration status.  Can I get vaccinated?

Yes. Under the law, everyone is eligible to get testing and treatment for communicable diseases, including coronavirus. This includes people without legal immigration status. 

You and your family members can also get the coronavirus vaccine, even if you don’t have legal immigration status.  The vaccine is free for everyone.

 

Will medical programs cover the costs of testing and treatment for coronavirus?

Yes. Washington Apple Health covers testing and treatment for coronavirus for people who have low incomes and meet other requirements.  You do not have to have legal immigration status to be eligible. 

If you are not eligible to get Washington Apple Health, you may be able to buy a Qualified Health Plan (private insurance) on Washington Healthplanfinder.  You can learn more here:  www.wahealthplanfinder.org/_content/special-enrollment-period.html.

 

If I get treated for coronavirus, will that count against me in the "public charge" test? Will it make it hard for me to get a Green Card?

No and no.  Immigration officials will not consider use of any medical assistance in the public charge test.  This includes testing, treatment, and vaccination for coronavirus.  You and your family members can get the care you need without fear. 

 

I need unemployment insurance benefits. Will this be a problem in the public charge test?

No!  Immigration officials will not consider use of unemployment insurance benefits in the public charge test.  You can use unemployment benefits without fear. 

 

My family gets pandemic electronic benefits (P-EBT) since the schools closed and my child did not get free or reduced fee school meals.  Is this a problem for public charge?

No!  Immigration officials will not consider use of any food assistance in the public charge test.  This includes school meals, P-EBT benefits, WIC, and food stamps.  You and your family can use the food assistance you need without fear. 

 

Is it safe for me to see a doctor if I need to?

Yes. Your doctor cannot share information about you, without your permission. This includes information about your immigration status  

Federal guidelines say immigration officials cannot arrest people or do other enforcement activities at health care facilities like hospitals and clinics.

 

Is it safe for me to apply for medical benefits on Healthplanfinder for myself or my family?

Yes. The information on your application for medical benefits can only be used to decide if you are eligible for benefits.  It cannot be shared with immigration officials.

 

Where can I learn more about coronavirus?

There is more information in a variety of languages a the King County Health Department website.

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Last Review and Update: Apr 14, 2021
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