Funding the Trust: Starting July 2023, a .58% payroll tax will be collected from all Washington state employees and placed into the LTSS Trust to fund future benefits. There is no identified salary cap on which the deduction will be taken.
Exemptions: Beginning January 1, 2023, additional groups of Washington workers can apply for an exemption from the LTC deductions beginning July 1, 2023. Employees who held a private Long Term Care insurance policy prior to November 2022 were offered a one-time exemption opportunity to permanently opt out of WA Cares Fund; this exemption path is no longer offered.
If you receive an approved exemption, send your exemption letter to email@example.com.
LTC Benefit: Starting as early as July 2026, a lifetime $36,500 benefit will be available to address a wide range of long-term services and support.
Frequently Asked Questions
If I apply and am approved for the exemption from paying the tax, will I be required to provide ongoing proof of primary LTC coverage?
Those who applied for and received an exemption due to holding private LTC insurance prior to November 1, 2021 will not be required to provide ongoing proof, as this is a permanent exemption. The new exemptions available January 1, 2023, are not permanent and may require re-certifying over time.
What do I do with my approved exemption request?
Send a copy of your exemption approval letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. This will notify Payroll to not collect the LTC tax from your pay.
I live out of the state of Washington. Can I assume that if I have paid into the program as outlined, I will be eligible to apply for a future benefit?
No, the current program requirements state that only those who reside in the state of Washington will be eligible for a benefit. If you live out-of-state you may wish to apply for an exemption, or you may contribute to the program and become eligible to receive a benefit should you relocate to Washington in the future.
How do I apply for an exemption?
Instructions to submit an exemption can be found at WA Cares Fund: Apply for an Exemption.
Does WSU have a LTC insurance plan I can purchase?
I have Long Term Disability (LTD) Insurance through WSU, will this coverage allow me to be exempt from the LTC tax?
No. LTD is a wage insurance plan that will ensure a certain level of monthly income if you are on an approved LTD claim due to being medically unable to work. LTC provides a benefit to cover services and assistance to address various activities of daily living.
Will I pay taxes on future LTC benefit payouts?
No, future LTC benefit payouts will be non-taxable. LTC premiums are collected from your pay post-tax, so taxes will not be collected from future payouts.
How are the years of service calculated for future benefit eligibility?
- If an employee has at least ten years of paying the tax starting July 1, 2023, with no more than a five year break in Washington state employment, they will be considered to be permanently vested/eligible for future benefits.
- If at the time of applying for a benefit an employee has paid in for at least three of the previous six years, they will meet the temporary vesting/eligibility criteria and be eligible for a benefit.
Is my spouse eligible for this benefit if they do not work in the state of Washington?
At this time the benefit appears to only be available to individuals who have paid the tax for the allotted period of time to establish eligibility.
Questions? Contact WA Cares Fund