Tribal Governments

As sovereign nations, tribes choose whether to opt into the WA Cares Fund.



The WA Cares Fund is a universal long-term care program that provides Washington workers with access to a wide range of long-term services and supports. Workers all contribute and earn the benefit while they are working and, if they ever need long-term care, can access the earned benefit when they need it.

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Addresses the need

7 in 10 Washingtonians over the age of 65 will need long-term services and supports within their lifetimes.

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Minimize family burden

Family caregivers who leave the workforce to care for a loved one may lose their own income and health and retirement benefits.

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Keep your savings

To pay for long-term care, many people must spend down their savings to qualify for financial support.

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Peace of mind

By contributing a small amount from each paycheck while we’re working, we can all pay for long-term care when we need it.

How it Works


When a tribe opts in, all employees of their tribal businesses are covered. All employees will contribute 0.58% of their wages and in return, when they meet the contribution requirements, they get access to a lifetime benefit of $36,500 (adjusted annually for inflation).


Learn more about the path to benefits

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Tribal employers do not automatically participate in the WA Cares Fund. To provide coverage to their employees, they must choose to opt in. Employees who do not work their entire careers for tribal business are at risk of losing coverage.

WA Cares benefits employees


Tribes are some of the largest employers in their regions. If a Tribe doesn't opt in, workers could lose their benefit by coming to work for the Tribe. If someone has paid in for five years working at a non-tribal employer, then leaves for a new job with a tribal employer that hasn't opted into WA Cares, they will lose their benefits after five years working for the tribal employer.

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WA Cares can be used with private insurance


As an employer, any private coverage you offer your employees can be used in combination with WA Cares. The employer won't contribute anything to WA Cares, but by contributing 0.58% of their own wages over the course of their career, the worker will earn a $36,500 long-term care benefit (adjusted for inflation).

WA Cares supports families and the tribal community


WA Cares benefits can be used to make a loved one even a spouse a paid caregiver. Benefits may also be used to hire other tribal long-term care providers. This can help keep the benefits workers earn in the community.

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Visit our Employer information page to learn about collecting premiums, tracking exemptions, and more

Tribal Service Providers

Under RCW 50B.04.020, Tribes may choose to participate in WA Cares by becoming recognized long-term services and supports providers. To become a recognized WA Cares provider, a Tribal service provider would submit evidence that qualifications have been met for the services they offer, pass a background check, and hold a current WA Cares services contract.  

Tribal governments can opt-in by contacting the Employment Security Department

Brett Cain, Policy Analyst
ESD Leave and Care Division | 360-763-2879