October 4, 2021
Effective January 1, 2022, the new Washington Cares Fund will go into effect, resulting in a new payroll tax for all W-2 eligible employees in Washington. This tax will be used to establish a pool to fund a long-term care benefit for Washingtonians who meet all eligibility requirements as spelled out by the law.
There is a provision for employees to apply for an exemption to opt out of paying the tax if they have a pre-existing qualified long-term care plan in effect by November 1, 2021. You can apply for an exemption to opt-out from October 1, 2021, through December 31, 2022.
Applying for an Exemption
To apply for a permanent exemption, you must:
You can reference these instructions to create your SecureAccountWashingtion (SAW) account and apply for an exemption: https://wacaresfund.wa.gov/apply-for-an-exemption/.
What Happens Next?
The Employment Security Department (ESD) will review your application and notify you if you're eligible for an exemption from WA Cares coverage. If your application is approved, you'll get an exemption approval letter from ESD, at which point you'll be:
Approved exemptions will take effect the quarter after your application is approved. Please note: this means that if you are approved after January 1, 2021, you will be required to pay into the WA Cares Fund through the payroll tax.
Please send your exemption approval to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than December 15, 2021, for the payroll tax to not take effect on January 1, 2021.
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