A new report has great news for more than 52,000 workers all over the Olympic peninsula who will soon be building up WA Cares benefits. WA Cares will enable us to stay in our own homes with paid home care when we have Dementia, Cancer, and other illnesses or injuries.
The new analysis comes from We Care For Cares, a coalition of consumer and patient advocates including AARP, Alzheimer’s Association, Lupus Foundation, Multiple Sclerosis Society, and Physicians for Social Responsibility.
In the Olympic Peninsula area, WA Cares will directly benefit an estimated 52,000 workers, including:
- 38,750 younger workers (20-54)
- 13,730 older workers (55-64)
- 11,400 Black, Indigenous and workers of color
- 15,780 part-time workers
- 8,650 gig workers
Debbie Gomez in Port Angeles shared, “I was making a good income working as an accountant until 2016 when my sister had a stroke. Taking care of my sister is what I wanted to do. My husband needs heart surgery, so now I will have two people to take care of. These experiences have made me confront the fact that one day I will need care myself. WA Cares benefits allow us to get in-home care or pay a family member for that care if we choose.”
WA Cares covers 43,000 people under age 65 in our area who likely have pre-existing conditions
Private long term care insurance companies frequently deny coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. WA Cares covers all workers, including those of us with pre-existing conditions.
WA Cares will provide $36,500 (which grows with inflation) to help pay someone when we need help with tasks like dressing, bathing, making meals and getting around as a result of an injury, illness, disease or the normal challenges that can come with aging.
WA Cares is good for jobs and the economy
The WA Cares Fund is expected to generate $3.9 million in jobs and other economic benefits in communities across our region, according to the report.
A dollar in WA Cares spending on a home repair person, home care provider, or medical supplier generates another $1.50 in economic benefits for our communities and businesses.
In our area, nearly 20,000 are unpaid family caregivers
Frequently, women, and Black, Indigenous and people of color become unpaid family caregivers – those less likely to have savings to pay for care. When they leave their own jobs to care for others, it drains household income and worsens the labor shortage.
Thanks to the hard work and support of Senator Kevin Van De Wage and Representatives Mike Chapman and Steve Tharinger for the WA Cares program, we’ll have the choice of staying in our homes when we need care.
We Cares for WA Cares is a coalition of consumer advocates including AARP, Alzheimer’s Association, Lupus Foundation, Multiple Sclerosis Society, and Physicians for Social Responsibility.