Below is information compiled from: wacaresfund.wa.gov.
The Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) Trust Act was passed by the Legislature and signed into law in 2019. The LTSS, more commonly referred to as WA Cares, is an earned benefit to assist working Washingtonians with accessing long-term care when they need it.
Washington workers will pay up to $0.58 per $100 of earnings. Starting in July 2026, each person who is eligible to receive the benefit can access care costing up to $36,500 (adjusted annually for inflation) over their lifetime.
Washington employers are required to report employee wages and hours and pay premiums every quarter — unless you had no payroll expenses during that quarter. Beginning July 1, Washington employers must resume premium collection from their employees. Employers will report WA Cares premiums the same way they report for the Paid Family and Medical Leave Program (PFML).
Employers do not pay any share of WA Cares contributions for their employees.
The premium for 2023 is 0.58% of an employee’s gross wages. Calculate the total premium amount for each of your employees.
- Gross Wages x 0.0058 = premium for employee
Use the Employment Security Department’s (ESD) online premium calculator to assist employers with determining PFML and WA Cares premiums.
Employers will report WA Cares and PFML premium collections quarterly.
- Q1: January-March – reports due April 30
- Q2: April-June – reports due July 31
- Q3: July-September – reports due October 31
- Q4: October-December – reports due January 31
More information about how to report can be found here.
The Legislature adopted a handful of exemptions for people who:
- live outside of Washington,
- are the spouse or registered domestic partner of an active-duty service member of the United States armed forces,
- have non-immigrant work visas, or
- are veterans with a 70% service-connected disability rating or higher.
These exemptions are available to individuals on an ongoing basis. The responsibility is on the employee to apply for an exemption from ESD, which must be approved. Employers must stop withholding premiums from employees that present an exemption approval letter from ESD.
Individuals with private insurance were able to opt-out if they applied for an exemption before Dec. 1, 2022.
Self-employed individuals can choose to opt in to WA Cares. Contribution are the same as employees, which is currently 0.58% of:
- your net earnings,
- gross wages, if any, paid to you from your business entity.
If you have qualifying wages for Paid Family and Medical Leave, they’ll also qualify for WA Cares. In other words, you’re eligible if you’re:
- a sole proprietor,
- A joint venturer or a member of a partnership,
- A member of a limited liability company (LLC),
- An independent contractor,
- Otherwise in business for yourself.
Corporate officers are not self-employed.
More information about self employment can be found here.
ESD has an employer toolkit that has a variety of resources including paycheck inserts and FAQs. You can also sign up for ESD’s email list to receive WA Cares updates directly from the department.
A complete program overview can be found at: wacaresfund.wa.gov.