Blog Article

How-To Guide for Applying for a WA Cares Exemption

Olympia, Washington, USA state capitol building at dusk.

By Merriman Wealth Management, Wealth Advisor
Published On 10/13/2021

To learn more about the New Payroll Tax in Washington State check out our previous post.

To start the process of applying for an exemption from the Washington Long-Term Care payroll tax (WA Cares), you will need an account with SecureAccess Washington (SAW). If you do not currently have an account, you will be asked to create a username and password for the site. You can get started here:

Note: Before creating an account, be sure to double check if you already have one as many Washingtonians use this site to also apply for fishing licenses, paid family and medical leave, professional licenses, and more.

A PDF of the instructions below can be downloaded here.

1. After creating an account, you will be directed to this page. Select “Add a New Service.”

2. From here, you will select the option for “I would like to browse a list of services by agency.”

3. Scroll down and select “Employment Security Department.”

4. Select Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) by clicking “Apply.”


4.5 If you are already registered for PFML, please skip to step 7.5.

5. By selecting the Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) option, this service is added to your SecureAccess account. From here, you can begin the process of applying for the Long-Term Care exemption. Click “Access Now.”

6. Click “Continue.”

7. From here, scroll down until you see “WA Cares Exemption” and click “Create an Account.”

7.5 If you have already registered for PFML in the past (see Step 4.5 above), you’ll need to complete a workaround to find the WA Cares Exemption application.

First, access the PFML service where you applied for benefits in the past. Look to the top right corner of the page and click “Add/Switch Account.”

          Then click “Create a New Account” under your name. Now proceed to step 7.

8. If you have not previously applied for PFML, you will be prompted to enter your personal information: Name, Social Security number, address, and phone number. Once this is done, you will select the link: “Apply for an Exemption.”

If you have applied for PFML before, you will need to review your personal information and make any necessary changes.

9. Complete the Attestation form. Input your age and check all of the boxes if you have signed up for an eligible private Long-Term Care Insurance policy or qualifying alternative.

10. You will be required to upload proof of identify, such as a photo of your driver’s license or passport.

11. You will see a screen that confirms your exemption application.

All opinions expressed in this article are for general informational purposes and constitute the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of the report. These opinions are subject to change without notice and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual or on any specific security. The material has been gathered from sources believed to be reliable, however Merriman cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of such information, and certain information presented here may have been condensed or summarized from its original source.  Merriman does not provide tax or legal or accounting advice, and nothing contained in these materials should be taken as such.

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By Merriman Wealth Management, Wealth Advisor

At Merriman, we manage your wealth so you can lead your best life. We take care of the financial planning and investment management, so you can deal in more possibilities and have the space you need to dream big.

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