Cares Act

Washington CARES Act Delay

by | January 5, 2022

Update as of January 20th, 2022

You may have heard in the news that the Washington Long Term Care Act (WA CARES) has been postponed until July 2023. Washington house lawmakers have approved a bill (HB 1732) delaying payroll tax collection for the Long-Term Care Act (Washington Cares) until July 2023. The bill now moves to the senate for approval. The senate is set to hear the bill next week and could take action as early as Tuesday, January 25. We anticipate the bill will pass; however, until it’s confirmed next week by the senate, we advise that you hold off from making changes to your policies. We will continue to update you as we learn more.

On December 17, 2021, in a highly publicized announcement, Governor Inslee announced the implementation of the Washington CARES Act would be delayed for the legislature to fix the statute. The Governor stated that the state would not collect funds until the legislature resolved open issues. Lawmakers stated, “While we cannot direct employers not to collect, we strongly encourage them to pause on collecting premiums from employees.” On December 22, 2021, the Governor further ordered the Washington Employment Security Department (ESD) not to collect the premiums. 

On December 23, 2021, the Governor clarified his previous statement. A press release stated that while he had ordered the ESD not to collect from employers, employers were still required to withhold the premiums starting January 1, 2022, because the statute has not yet been amended. Therefore, employers are obligated to withhold premiums starting January 1, 2022. 

The WA Cares Fund states that they ESD is not “collecting” premiums. Be sure to partner with your payroll company and seek counsel to find the right approach for your business.

Enlist Help

Speak with an attorney about the Washington Cares Act and how it effects your business by contacting us at 425-250-0205 or

Legal Disclaimer: This article contains general information and should not be viewed as legal advice. You should talk with counsel familiar with your unique business needs before taking or refraining from any action.