Jun 14, 2023 UPDATE: Washington State Long Term Care Payroll Tax
A new payroll tax set to begin in 2022 to help fund Long Term Care for Washington residents was delayed 18 months. The WA Cares Fund is intended to provide some Long-Term Care benefits to residents and is funded by a .58% payroll tax. It is now set to begin in July 2023.
Workers were able to apply for exemptions if they had private long term care insurance, but that opt-out is no longer available. There are new exemptions that are available ongoing including; living outside of WA, being the spouse of an active duty service member of the US armed forces, having a non-immigrant work visa, or being a veteran with a 70% service-related disability rating. You can find more details here: https://wacaresfund.wa.gov/how-it-works/exemptions
The WA Cares benefit provides up to $36,500 (adjusted annually up to inflation) to spend on covered services. Some of the covered services include in-home caregivers, residential care, home accessibility improvements like wheelchair ramps, meal delivery, rides and transportation, mobility devices, and care supplies. For about a third of people, this amount could cover all the care they need in a lifetime. For everyone else, it can provide immediate relief from long-term care costs without the need to spend down their savings, as well as time to plan for any future needs. For people with private long-term care insurance, WA Cares can help cover the benefit waiting period.
Below is a chart of how the fund works. You can follow this link to read the details on each step of the process.
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