Dependent Care FSA

Visit the Open Enrollment website to learn more about benefit changes for 2020.

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Syracuse University offers employees the opportunity to contribute pre-tax dollars to a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account administered by WageWorks.

Visit or call WageWorks toll-free at 877.924.3967 for more information.

On this page:

Benefit Design

The Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account 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 Flexible Spending Account 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 Expenses

In general, before- and after-school care is eligible for reimbursement for children under age 13. The cost of school tuition, lessons, tutoring and sports is not eligible. You can review a listing of eligible expenses online.

Qualifying expenses may only be reimbursed for the care of one or more “qualifying dependents.” In general, a “qualifying dependent” is either

  • an eligible dependent under the age of 13, or
  • a spouse or eligible dependent, regardless of age, if that individual is physically or mentally unable to care for him or herself.

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.

  • If services are provided by a dependent care center, the center must be licensed as required by state or local law.
  • If services are provided by an individual, you must supply the caregiver’s social security or taxpayer identification number when submitting claims for reimbursement, as well as any other information required by the Plan Administrator to assure that the expenses are properly reimbursable. Expenses are not reimbursable if, among other things, the care provider is the dependent of you or your spouse, or is your child and is under the age of 19 at the end of the plan year.
  • Expenses for a family member who does not qualify as your dependent for federal income tax purposes are not eligible for reimbursement under your dependent care FSA.

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:
    • EZ Receipts app – allows you to file your claim from your smart phone or other mobile device.
    • FSA Online Account – log into the secure website to submit a claim and view all of your account information.
    • Pay Me Back paper claim form [PDF] – Complete the paper form and mail or fax your submission to WageWorks with your receipts.
  • 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.

Helpful Links

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.