In the first week, Washington workers could opt out of the state’s new long-term care insurance benefit – the so-called “WA Cares Fund”- the agency received thousands of applications for exemptions.
Between Oct. 1 and Oct. 8, the WA Care Fund received about 95,000 exemptions, said Nick Demerice, director of legislative affairs for the state’s employment security department. The first day workers could apply for exemption was October 1st.
The benefit is funded by a new payroll tax that takes effect January 1, 2022. Almost all Washington employees are subject to the tax, which is 0.58% of a worker’s total salary without pay ceiling. This means that an employee who earns $ 100,000 pays $ 580 to the fund.
On the first day, workers could opt out of the benefit – and subsequently opt out of the payroll tax – page on the WA Cares Fund website where employees could submit applications crashed before noon and were down for several hours.
Employees who have a private care insurance or buy one before November 1 are exempt from the tax. Employers are also exempt. Self-employed persons can sign up for the service if they wish, but this is not required.
Until 31 December 2022, employees have the opportunity to apply for a dispensation.
The program serves as a state-insured insurance plan for long-term care. It provides eligible adults a maximum of $ 36,500 for long-term care costs, such as nursing home care or minor services such as home-delivered meals and dementia support. It was created by state law in 2019.