The new payroll tax for the Long Term Care plan was supposed to start January 1st, 2022. However, the program still had unanswered questions and would pull taxes from individuals that would never be able to access the program.
In the first part of January confusion was created when the Governor of Washington stated it was going back to the drawing board and to not withhold premiums. Within a few days statements were made that the office didn't have the authority to change a law that way. Therefore on January 27th, the Governor signed two bills to make improvements to the law and delay the program implementation by 18 months. The changes include:
• Workers near retirement (born before 1968) will be able to qualify for partial benefits on a pro-rated basis.
• Workers who live out of state and work in Washington, military spouses, workers on non-immigrant visas, and certain veterans with disabilities will be able to opt-out of the program if they choose.
• Workers will begin contributing to the fund in July 2023. Employers will refund any premiums collected in 2022 so far.
The Washington Cares Fund website will be updated shortly to reflect this information. We will continue to monitor this new law and post updates as they occur. For questions or more information, please contact OmniarHR at 208-415-0365 or by email to Service@OmniaHR.com.