Submit WA Cares Fund exemption letters to King County by June 26

The WA Cares Fund is a new long-term care insurance program administered by the Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) and the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). With limited exceptions, workers in Washington are required to contribute to the WA Cares Fund via mandatory payroll deduction beginning July 1, 2023.

The premium has been set at 0.58% of gross wages (58 cents per $100). The initial maximum value of the benefit will be $36,500 (adjusted annually for inflation).

Exemptions to the WA Cares Fund

You may be eligible for a permanent or conditional exemption from the WA Cares Fund. An employee with a permanent exemption from the WA Cares Fund premium is permanently ineligible from receiving benefits and cannot rejoin the program later. An employee with a conditional exemption does not contribute premiums to the program while their conditional exemption is in effect.

If you already submitted your approved exemption letter to King County, you should have received a confirmation email from King County Central Payroll on May 12. No further action is required.

If you have been approved for an exemption and did not receive the email from Payroll, submit your approved exemption letter from the ESD no later than June 26, 2023, to avoid the non-refundable WA Cares mandatory payroll deduction that begins in July.

Send a copy of your exemption 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.

Attend a webinar for King County employees May 31

WA Cares is hosting a webinar for King County employees via Zoom on Wednesday, May 31 from 11 a.m. to noon. Learn more about the program and its benefits, and get your questions answered by Washington state employees. Join the Zoom Meeting using Meeting ID: 837 8908 8276 and Passcode: 870976.

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 the ESD. For more information about the program, Contact the WA Cares Fund, go to Learn More, or watch webinar recordings on the WA Cares YouTube Channel.