Understanding Washington State’s New Long-Term Care Program

Back in 2019, the state of Washington passed the “Long-Term Services and Support Trust Act” to provide long-term care benefits. The benefit would be $100 per day with a lifetime maximum of $36,500 and the benefits can be used for long-term care services including professional care at home or nursing facilities, dementia support, or adaptive medical equipment. The benefits will not start until January 1, 2025.

This act will be paid for through an additional tax the employer will deduct from your payroll for 0.58% of the employee’s wages and there is no cap. For example, an employee making $100,000 will pay $580 annually for this tax.  Independent contractors and self-employed are not required to participate. Currently, there is no option to be excluded from this new tax.

Employers were set to begin the new payroll tax on January 1st, 2022, but this has been delayed until March 2022. Governor Jay Inslee has temporarily halted the collection of the payroll tax to allow the Legislature to have more time to review and potentially make some changes. There may be potential changes and we will keep you updated as things progress.

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