Employee Exemption Period Open for Washington’s Long-Term Care Program
The Washington Employment Security Department (ESD) is accepting applications for exemption from the long-term care program from October 1, 2021, through December 31, 2022. The WA Cares Fund website has helpful employer information, including information about tracking employee exemptions and an employer toolkit.
Employee Contributions for Long-Term Care
Beginning January 1, 2022, employers will be required to withhold employee contributions of 0.58% of a covered employee’s wages for long-term care. Employers will remit contributions to the ESD and report on a quarterly basis. The paid leave reporting system will be updated so employers can report for both paid leave and long-term care at the same time.
An exempt employee is a person who has been granted an exemption from the contribution by the ESD. Only employees can apply for and be granted an exemption. Employees must be age 18 or older and must have purchased long-term care insurance before November 1, 2021. The ESD is not required to verify the statement that the employee has secured long-term care insurance.
An exempt employee must provide written notification to all employers and give the employer a copy of the approved letter from the ESD. Once approved, exemptions are permanent and the employee can never opt back in. Once notified, an employer must not deduct long-term care program contributions from the employee’s wages. The ESD approval letter will state the effective date of the employee’s exemption. Employers must also keep a copy of employee approval letters on file.
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Lia Coniglio, Esq., is Managing Editor of PayState Update and Senior Editor of State Payroll Information Resources.