Reminder: WA Cares Fund payroll deductions begin in July

The WA Cares Fund is a new state long-term care insurance program administered by the Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) and the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS).

Beginning July 1, 2023, almost all workers in Washington are required to contribute to the WA Cares Fund via mandatory payroll deduction.

The current premium rate is 0.58% of gross wages, or $0.58 per $100. For example, if an employee earns $50,000 annually, the total annual premium is $290 or $11.15 per paycheck. Use the WA Cares Fund calculator to Estimate your contribution.

Beginning July 2026, people eligible to receive the WA Cares Fund benefit can access a $36,500 lifetime benefit to pay for covered long-term care services.

Exemptions to the WA Cares Fund

Some employees may be eligible for a permanent or conditional exemption from the WA Cares Fund. To learn more and to request a program exemption, go to WA CARES Act Exemptions & Information.

If you are granted an exemption from the ESD, submit a copy of your final approval letter and your nine-digit PeopleSoft ID# by email to: or by U.S. mail to: Central Payroll WA CARES, 401 5th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104.

If you have already submitted your approved exemption letter to King County, there is no need to resubmit it. Central Payroll is processing exemption letters and will confirm receipt by the end of May.

To learn more about submitting an exemption approval letter, go to the King County WA Cares Fund webpage.

More information

King County does not administer any part of the WA Cares Fund beyond collecting premiums via payroll deduction and reporting employee pay and hours to ESD. For more information about the program, call 844-CARE4WA (844-227-3492) or use the following links to the WA Cares Fund website: