County of Marin Health and Human Services

Public Charge

Information on Service Adjustments During the COVID-19 Emergency

HHS is the County's largest department with more than 700 employees who work at many sites throughout Marin. Many HHS offices have reopened with limited staffing to the public. Staff will continue to provide services remotely when possible for safety reasons, and residents in need of HHS services should consider conducting conversations over the phone or email when possible. Please call ahead if you have an appointment or require in-person assistance.

  • Adult Protective Services: (415) 473-2774.
  • Skilled Nursing/Assisted Living Ombudsman: (415) 473-7446.
  • Child Protective Services: (415) 473-7153.
  • Public Assistance Call Center (Medi-Cal, CalFresh, CalWorks): 1 (877) 410-8817, or visit
  • General Relief: (415) 473-3450.
  • Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Access Line: 1 (888) 818-1115.
  • For information on resources and services specifically for older adults (persons 60+), persons with disabilities and family caregivers, call (415) 473-INFO (415) 473-4636 or email
  • HHS created a phone hotline, (415) 473-7191 (CRS 711), and an online contact form, for residents to contact staff with questions or concerns about the virus and about the county and community response. The call center is open from 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. weekdays, and interpreter services are available.
  • Dial 711 for CA Relay Service (link is external)

What is Public Charge?

Public charge is part of immigration law that has been used by federal authorities for decades. It is designed to determine whether someone may become dependent on government assistance benefits as their main source of support. If the government determines someone is likely to become a public charge, they can deny admission to the U.S. or refuse an application for lawful permanent residency.

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What’s Happening and Why Are We Concerned?

After announcing its intention to make alterations to existing law in September 2018, the Department of Homeland Security published its final public change rule on the Federal Register on October 15, 2019. The rule’s proposed revisions would negatively impact many of the valued community members we serve.

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Trainings and Events

Fighting the Chilling Effect: Ensuring the Health and Well-Being of Immigrants

Updates on Public Charge and Older Immigrants

Public Charge Update for Non-Legal Services Providers

Public Charge Updates

  • Date: March 17, 2020
  • Time: 11:00 am - 12:30 pm Pacific Time
  • Location: Online
  • Presenters: Erin Quinn - ILRC Senior Staff Attorney, Ariel Brown, ILRC Special Projects Attorney, and Sarah Lakhani, ILRC Skadden Fellow

Need community education around public charge?

Staff from Canal Alliance is available to speak at meetings or workshops (in English or Spanish) to explain and lead a discussion of the public charge issue. If you are interested, please contact Lauren Silver at:


Public Charge: Potentially Chilled Population Dashboard
"Chilling Effects" of the Proposed Public-Charge Rule in Marin County, CA