Steps to Apply for the WA State Long-Term Care Tax Exemption


During the process you will need to upload a scanned copy of your driver’s license or passport.

Acceptable file formats:  .pdf, .tif, .tiff, .jpeg, .jpg, .png  (FYI: phone photos are .png format)


Before Proceeding, Make Sure You Have an in-force LTC Policy (or life/annuity with LTC Rider)

Note:  If you have created an account in the past for Paid Family and Medical Leave there is slight complication and the option to request the exemption letter will not be available.  If this is the case you will need to create a second account with a new username in order to proceed.


Step 1:  Create a Secure Access Washington Account (SAW).    click “SIGN UP!”

After entering name and email address you should receive an email with a link to activate your account.


Step 2: Once your account is active, you’ll need to add “Paid Family and Medical Leave” (PFML) to your SAW services (the WA Cares Fund is piggybacking on the PFML system).

To add PFML,

  1. Select: “Add A New Service”
  2. Select: “I would like to browse a list of services”
  3. Scroll through the list to select “Paid Family and Medical Leave” click Apply
  4. At confirmation screen, click “OK”
  5. Select “Paid Family and Medical Leave” click Access Now


Step 3: Applying for an exemption

  1. Once you’ve logged in and selected Paid Family and Medical Leave from your list of services in SAW, you’ll click “Continue” to proceed to creating your WA Cares Exemption account.
  2. Click on Access Now, Continue
  3. On the “Create an Account” page, scroll down to WA Cares Exemption and select the “Create an Account” button (to the right of “WA Cares Exemption”).
  4. Add requested personal data, confirm, submit and you will be given a Customer ID number, copy it and DO NOT LOSE IT.
  5. Click home, apply for an exemption, complete attestation
  6. Upload proof of identity, Next, Click Home to view status

Note:  You are not asked for a policy number as this point, you are simply attesting that you have an LTC policy.  Do not do this if a policy number and effective date have not been issued as compliance is subject to a later audit.  Non-compliance will have excessive penalties.  Similar to your IRS 1040 return, you can claim any deduction you want, but at time of audit, you better have documentation to prove it.


Next steps

The Employment Security Department (ESD) will review your application and notify you if you’re eligible for an exemption from WA Cares coverage.

When your application is approved they will post the letter in your online portal and they will also mail you a copy.  If all is in order, this is taking about 10-14 days.   It is recommended you download the pdf version of the letter, save of course, and forward to your HR/Payroll dept.  The letter is your golden ticket out of the tax, save both hard and e-copy.

The state does not want you to disenroll, they want the tax income so getting a duplicate copy of the letter that gives you a lifetime exemption will be extremely difficult.  Also, in the attestation there is an attempt to discourage you by stating “You will be expelled from the program with no option to re-enroll” and “You will be disqualified from accessing WA Cares benefits in your lifetime”.