Employer Information

Knowing there is money set aside for care in the future gives employees peace of mind today. The WA Cares Fund makes long-term care insurance accessible for all Washington workers.

How WA cares helps employers and employees


Important Update

ESD is currently processing a high volume of exemption applications. We are doing our best to process applications as quickly as possible but we will not be able to address all applications before you are required to begin withholding premiums on July 1.

Approved exemptions from workers who submitted their applications before July 1 will have an effective exemption date of July 1, 2023, regardless of when their application is approved. In some cases, this may mean you will be deducting premiums from workers' wages before they are able to provide you a copy of their exemption approval letter. Once they provide their exemption approval letter, we encourage you to return their deductions at your earliest convenience since ESD will not assess premiums for these workers for any part of Q3.

Workers who submit exemption applications on or after July 1, and are approved, will be issued an effective exemption date starting the quarter following the date the exemption was approved, and will be assessed premiums for all of Q3.

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As a Washington employer, you are required to report your employees’ wages and hours and pay premiums every quarter. Beginning July 1, 2023, you’ll collect premiums from Washington employees the same way you do now for Paid Leave. Starting Quarter 3 2023 (reporting period begins Oct. 1, 2023) you will report for both programs at the same time, on the same report. You won’t pay any share of these contributions for your employees; you may, however, elect to pay some or all of your employees' share on their behalf.


Paycheck labeling

When you or your payroll administrator are choosing a label for the WA Cares Fund premium on your employees’ paychecks, we encourage you to use “WA Cares Fund” or “WA Cares LTC.” This will help ensure employees who want more details know the name of the program and can easily find more information online.


Need more info on reporting? Check out this helpful info from Paid Family and Medical Leave. WA Cares reporting will be fully integrated for your convenience.


NEW: Beginning with your Quarter 3 2023 report, there are new file specifications (v8) that incorporate all that is required for WA Cares. Visit the Paid Family and Medical Leave website for the most up to date information.


Looking for reporting tools and forms? Check out Paid Family and Medical Leave's Employer Help Center.

Calculating PREMIUMS


Calculate the total premium amount for each of your employees. The premium is 0.58% of an employee’s gross wages, so:


Gross wages x .0058 = total premium for employee


Note that unlike Paid Leave, premium contributions are not capped at the taxable maximum for social security. Need help determining premium amounts for WA Cares and Paid Leave? Check out the premium calculator.

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Some of your employees may choose to apply for an exemption from the WA Cares Fund. It’s the employee’s responsibility to apply and – if approved – to notify you (their employer) and provide you with a copy of their approval letter from ESD.


Certain exemptions are permanent while others are conditional upon the employee continuing to meet the requirements of the exemption. It is the employee’s responsibility to notify their employer of any changes to their exemption status and failure to do so can result in required back-payment of premiums (paid by the employee) and additional penalties.


Once notified of an employee’s exemption, employers must:


  • Keep a copy of the employee’s approval letter on file.
  • Not deduct WA Cares premiums from exempt workers.


Learn more about Exemptions


Still have questions? Check out the Employer information section of our frequently asked questions.

Employer toolkit

Check out these printable flyers to provide your employees with helpful info. Translated versions are available.

Subscribe to the employer newsletter

The Employment Security Department’s (ESD) monthly update for employers with information and resources on WA Cares, Paid Leave and Unemployment Insurance.