7 in 10 of Us Will Need Long-Term Care. Are You Prepared?
Most of us will need long-term care but don’t have a way to pay for it. WA Cares Fund is a first-in-the-nation program that ensures working Washingtonians can access affordable long-term care coverage.
WA Cares covers services and supports to help you stay at home, like training and paying a family caregiver, professional in-home care, home safety modifications, home-delivered meals, transportation and more. WA Cares benefits can also be used to pay for care in a residential
setting like a nursing home.
Workers will begin contributing to the WA Cares Fund on July 1, 2023.
How the fund works:
WA Cares Fund is a benefit you earn, like Social Security, to ensure all Washingtonians can access affordable long-term care.
WA Cares Fund benefits are funded entirely by worker premiums. By contributing a small amount from each paycheck during your working years, you can pay for long-term care when you need it.
Washington workers will contribute 0.58% of each paycheck to WA Cares, or about $24/month for the typical worker.
To be eligible to receive the benefit, you must meet contribution requirements and need help with activities of daily living.
You earn lifetime access to benefits by contributing at least 10 years (without a break of 5+ years). You can also access benefits if you contributed 3 of the past 6 years at the time you apply. People born before 1968 earn lifetime access to 10% of the full benefit amount for each year they contribute.
Starting in July 2026, each person who is eligible to receive the benefit can access care costing up to $36,500 (adjusted annually for inflation) over their lifetime.
WA Cares Fund was designed to help people age in place in their own home. A few hours of help each day with basic tasks like bathing, meal preparation and transportation can keep you living independently.
The benefit includes many options to provide support and flexibility for family caregivers. Families can use the benefit to train and pay a family caregiver or hire someone to help with care so the family caregiver can take a break. With WA Cares, you choose the services that meet your needs.
Learn more at wacaresfund.wa.gov