Dependent Care FSA

Syracuse University offers employees the opportunity to contribute pre-tax dollars to a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) administered by WageWorks.  If you have to pay for daycare and related expenses for a dependent child or adult so that you and your spouse/domestic partner can work or attend school, you can use a Dependent Care FSA.

Visit the WageWorks website or call WageWorks toll-free at 877.924.3967 (TTY: 866.353.8058) for more information.

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Benefit Design

The Dependent Care FSA offers tax savings on eligible child and elder care expenses provided by qualified caregivers.  You generally can contribute up to $5,000 per household annually to this account. The maximum limit is $2,500 for married individuals filing separate returns.

Keep in mind that in January (or as of your effective date of enrollment if later) you will be making your regular dependent care payments to your child care provider, but your account will not yet be funded. You cannot request reimbursement from the Dependent Care FSA for more than has been deposited into it. Depending on the amount of your contribution, it may take more or less time to build up enough of a balance to be reimbursed for your expenses.

Eligible Dependent Care Expenses

These accounts reimburse the cost of care for your qualifying child (under age 13) or other qualifying dependent, while you work or which enables you to work. Your care provider must provide his/her Social Security or Tax ID number. Care may be provided by a family member such as a parent or grandparent, but an FSA will not reimburse care provided by someone who is your tax dependent (such as an older child watching a younger child).

The WageWorks website has a searchable database of eligible dependent care expenses.

Eligible expenses require a receipt that shows payment was made to an eligible caregiver that includes service dates, dependent’s name, type of service, amount billed and provider’s name and address. Credit card receipts, canceled checks and balance forward statements do not meet the requirements for acceptable documentation.

Common Dependent Care Expenses

  • Babysitting or au pair services
  • Before/after-school programs
  • Day care and nursery schools
  • Summer day camp
  • Preschool programs
  • Elder care services

Ineligible Dependent Care Expenses

  • Private school tuition (kindergarten and up)
  • Lessons
  • Sports registration fees
  • Sleep-away camp
  • Tutoring

Reimbursement Process

The reimbursement process through WageWorks is simple:

  • Incur your eligible expenses and pay bills as you normally would.
  • Submit your claim, receipts and any additional required information to WageWorks by selecting one of the following options:
  • Reimbursements will be sent to you via paper check as a default, but you can enroll in direct deposit online by logging into your WageWorks account.

You will have until Apr. 30 of the following plan year to submit claims for expenses incurred during the plan year Jan. 1 (or as of your effective date of enrollment if later) through Dec. 31.

Please keep in mind that if your employment ends (or you otherwise become ineligible for benefits during the calendar year), eligible expenses will be limited to those incurred prior to your separation date.  There is no COBRA continuation available for Dependent Care FSA.


Every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained within this website is accurate. However, benefits are governed by legal documents (which, in certain circumstances, may include insurance contracts). If there is any difference between the information in this website and the official documents, the official documents will control. As is the case with all of Syracuse University’s employee benefit plans, the University reserves the right to modify or terminate these benefits at any time.