WA Cares Fund Information

  • Why it matters

    7 in 10 Washingtonians over the age of 65 will need long-term services and supports within their lifetimes. To pay for long-term care, many people must spend down their savings to qualify for financial support. By contributing a small amount from each paycheck while we’re working, we can all pay for long-term care when we need it. With WA Cares, people will have access to a lifetime benefit amount that, should they need it, they can use on a wide range of long-term services and supports.


    • Beginning July 2023, Washington workers will pay 0.58% of wages in the form of a payroll tax.
      • For example, a teacher starting in the District making $51,422 annually will contribute $298.25 a year, or $24.85 a month.
    • WA Cares benefits are entirely funded by worker premiums.
    • Only people who are working contribute to WA Cares. Some people who are retired from their career still work part-time. If you are working more than 500 hours per year (about 10 hours per week) as an employee, you will be contributing and earning WA Cares benefits.


    • Benefits will become available July 1, 2026, to people who have met contribution requirements and have a care need. WA residents who are eligible can access services and supports costing up to $36,500.
    • Near-retirees born before January 1, 1968, will earn lifetime access to a partial benefit (10% of the full benefit for each year they work 500 or more hours and contribute). 
    • The benefit will be available to use for a range of services and supports.


    Exemption Information & Application

    • If your exemption is approved, you will receive an exemption approval letter from the WA Employment Security Department, which you will need to present to all your current and future employers. 
      • You must turn your exemption letter into SPS Payroll in order for LTC tax to be stopped. 
    • If you fail to present your approval letter to your employers, any premiums that may have been collected will not count toward benefit eligibility and employers have no responsibility to return those premiums to you.

Additional Information

WA Cares Live Webinars

Register for a Live Webinar

Recorded webinars can be found on WA Cares Fund YouTube channel.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When will I see the new tax on my paycheck?
    • Beginning July 2023 payroll.
  • What if I already have long-term care insurance?
    • Policy must have been in place before November 1, 2021.
    • Exemptions are permanent, even if you change employers.
  • How do I notify my employer of my exemption?
    • Employees must notify SPSPayroll@spokaneschools.org of the approved exemption and provide a copy of the approval letter from Employment Security Department (ESD).
  • Learn More about the WA Cares Fund

More Information