Washington Resources


This page has information specific to this state, including contact information for federal and state agencies, and some key information about laws and consumer protections. Sometimes, state laws are more protective than federal law. For more information on this state's specific laws (e.g., on employment or health insurance), visit Triage Cancer's Charts of State Laws.


Disability Insurance

Federal Disability Programs

Private Disability Insurance

  • You can also purchase short-term and/or long-term disability insurance directly from a private insurance company or this type of insurance may be offered by your employer as an employee benefit. See our Quick Guide to Long-Term Disability Insurance for more information.


Federal Fair Employment

  • The U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, transgender status, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, or genetic information. The laws apply to all types of work situations, including hiring, firing, promotions, harassment, training, wages, and benefits. For more information about the EEOC, including how to file a complaint, visit the EEOC's websitecall 800.669.4000, or email info@eeoc.gov.
  • The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is a program funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, that provides free, expert, and confidential guidance on job accommodations and disability employment issues. They also have several resources on how to approach an employer to request a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act and a Searchable Online Accommodation Resource where individuals can find suggested accommodations based on job duties or limitations that they are experiencing. For more information, visit the JAN website, call 800.526.7234, or email jan@AskJAN.org.

State Fair Employment

State Unemployment

Vocational Rehabilitation

More Information

Employment – Taking Time Off

Federal Leave Laws

State Family & Medical Leave (for self & for caregivers)

State Paid Family Leave (for caregivers)

Who’s eligible? All employees who have worked at least 820 hours during their qualifying period (normally, the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters or, if that does not get you to the required 820 hours, the last four completed calendar quarters immediately preceding the application for leave.)

Who can be cared for? A family member with a serious health condition, or leave can be used when your own serious health condition prevents you from working. Family member includes a child, parent (or spouse's parent), spouse, domestic partner, grandchild, grandparent (or spouse's grandparent), sibling, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, or someone who has an expectation to rely on you for care.

How much time is given? Up to 12 weeks. Up to 16 weeks of combined medical and family leave if you have more than one qualifying event in the same claim year.

How much is paid? The amount of benefits paid is calculated based on the individual’s average weekly wage, with a maximum payment of $1,327/week (2022). This maximum limit is adjusted annually to 90% of the state average weekly wage.

How do I apply? Online or with a paper application requested from paidleave@esd.wa.gov or by phone at (833) 717-2273

For more information: https://paidleave.wa.gov/

State Paid Sick Leave (for self)

  • Employers in Washington State are required to provide paid sick leave to most employees. Earned paid sick leave may be used for a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition or if you need a medical diagnosis or preventative medical care. It can also be used if certain family members need care for a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition, or need a medical diagnosis or preventative medical care. For more information, visit https://www.lni.wa.gov/workers-rights/leave/paid-sick-leave/
  • Some states have kinship laws that allow someone to use their sick leave to care for a child. The Washington Family Care Act allows employees to take any paid leave offered by their employer to provide treatment or supervision for a child with a health condition, or to care for a qualifying family member with a serious or emergency health condition. For more information, visit https://lni.wa.gov/workers-rights/leave/family-care-act

State Paid General Leave (for any reason)

  • Some states provide general paid leave. Washington does not currently have a general leave law.

State Bone Marrow Donation Leave

  • Washington law provides state employees with up to 5 days of paid leave in a two-year period. The leave cannot be charged against sick leave or annual leave.

County & Local Leave

Workplace Leave Policies or Employment Contracts

  • Everyone’s situation is different. Check your employee handbook, your workplace policies, and/or your employment contract (if you have one) to see whether you are eligible to take paid or unpaid time off from work.

More Information


For information on financial assistance resources, you can visit the Financial Assistance Resources module at CancerFinances.org. You can then pick from the different categories of financial assistance, to find organizations that may provide financial help to you. Think creatively. For example, if you cannot find anything to help with your medical bills, you may qualify for utility assistance and shift the money you had dedicated to utilities to your medical bills.

Health Care

Health Insurance Information

Health Insurance Options

  • For information about options for buying health insurance from private insurance companies, as well as whether you are eligible for marketplace financial assistance, visit the Washington HealthPlanFinder website, or call 855.923.4633 or 855.627.9604.
  • COBRA provides a way for workers and their families to temporarily maintain their employer-provided health insurance during situations such as job loss or a reduction in hours worked. If you have questions about COBRA, visit the Employee Benefits Security Administration website or call 866.444.3272.
  • For information about your state's COBRA law related to maintaining employer-provided health insurance during situations such as job loss or a reduction in hours worked, as well as information about how your state's law works with federal COBRA, visit the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner website, or call 800.562.6900.
Children's Health Insurance
  • Visit this site to learn about the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides low-cost health coverage to children in families that earn too much money to be eligible for Medicaid.
  • Visit InsureKidsNow.gov to learn about free or low-cost health and dental insurance coverage options for kids and teens.
More Insurance Information

Health Insurance Appeals

  • To apply for an Independent Medical Review (an external appeal of a health plan denial) or to file a Consumer Complaint about your health plan, visit the Office of the Insurance Commissioner.
  • If your health insurance company has denied coverage for your care, you can appeal that decision. The process depends on the type of health insurance that you have. Visit the Health Insurance Appeals module on CancerFinances.org to learn more about appeals.
  • If you have private health insurance (e.g., through an employer or the Marketplace), you can also file an external appeal with an entity outside of your insurance company, to see if the insurance company is required to cover your care. The external review process is either handled by the state’s insurance agency or the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Visit our Chart of State Laws on Health Insurance Coverage & Navigation to see who runs the external appeals process in your state.


  • Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease or ALS. For information about Medicare, to create a personal account where you can view your Medicare information, and to learn about plan options, visit Medicare.gov, or call 800.MEDICARE (800.633.4227)
  • Download a copy of Medicare's handbook, “Medicare & You.”
  • For help navigating Medicare, contact the Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA), 800.562.6900.
  • For more information, visit Triage Cancer's Medicare Topics Page.


Health Insurance Premium Payment Program (HIPP)
  • The HIPP program can help pay your group health insurance premium (e.g., COBRA) if you are eligible for Medicaid. For more information, visit the HIPP program website, or call 800.562.3022, ext. 15473.
Early & Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, & Treatment (EPSDT)
  • The EPSDT benefit is a Medicaid benefit available to individuals under the age of 21.
  • States are required to provide comprehensive services needed to correct and ameliorate health conditions, including:
    • Early: Assess and identify problems early, starting at birth
    • Periodic: Check children’s health at periodic, age-appropriate intervals in comprehensive well-child visits, including health education
    • Screening: Provide physical, dental, mental, developmental, hearing, vision, and other screening or laboratory tests to detect potential problems
    • Diagnosis: Perform diagnostic tests and assessments to follow up when a risk is identified during screening and examinations
    • Treatment: Control, correct, or ameliorate any problems that are found
  • States are required to provide any additional health care services that are coverable under the federal Medicaid program and found to be medically necessary to treat, correct or reduce illnesses and conditions discovered regardless of whether the service is covered in a state's Medicaid plan. State Medicaid agencies are required to:
    • Inform all Medicaid-eligible individuals under age 21 that EPSDT services are available and of the need for age-appropriate immunizations;
    • Offer and provide, if requested and necessary, assistance with transportation to medical care.
    • Offer and provide, if requested and necessary, assistance with scheduling appointments for EPSDT visits and services.
  • Learn more about your state's program.
Children's Health Insurance
  • Visit this site to learn about the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides low-cost health coverage to children in families that earn too much money to be eligible for Medicaid.
  • Visit InsureKidsNow.gov to learn about free or low-cost health and dental insurance coverage options for kids and teens.
In-Home Support Services (IHSS)
More Medicaid Resources

Free or Low-Cost Health Care

  • For a list of Hill-Burton Federally Funded Health Centers that are obligated to provide free or reduced-cost health care, visit the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) website.
  • Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) are community-based health care providers that provide primary care services in underserved areas. To search for an FQHC in your state, use the Find a Health Center tool on the HRSA website.
  • To find a community clinic in your area: screenings and services in your area, visit the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics website.
  • The National Breast & Cervical Cancer Treatment Program (NBCCEDP) provides breast and cervical cancer screenings and diagnostic services to women who have low incomes and are uninsured or underinsured. For more information about screenings and services in your area, use the CDC search tool.
  • The Breast & Cervical Cancer Treatment Program (BCCTP) provides cancer treatment benefits to eligible low-income individuals diagnosed with breast and/or cervical cancer.

Health Care Programs & Laws

Women's Health & Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA)
State Clinical Trials Law
  • Wash. Admin Code. § 284-43-5420
  • Who must cover the costs? Insurance Carriers
  • What must be covered? Routine patient costs for insureds who participate in Phase I, Phase II, Phase III, or Phase IV clinical trials conducted for the prevention, detection, or treatment of cancer or other life-threatening diseases
  • Qualifying Trials: The clinical trial must be funded or approved by: (1) the NIH, (2) the U.S. Dept. of Defense or Veterans Affairs, (3) an IRB of a Washington state institution that has a multiple project assurance contract, or (4) a qualified research entity that meets the NIH’s criteria for support grant eligibility.

(Current as of 8/2022)

More Health Insurance Resources


State Cancer Information


  • Local transit systems may provide free or discounted rates for low-income individuals and families. Some cities also offer bus passes, vouchers for taxi or ride-sharing services, or shuttle services for patients traveling to cancer treatments.
  • Dial 211 for assistance.