Dependent Care FSA
When is my DCFSA available to me, and how do I know how much is in my account?
This depends on when you enrolled in your DCFSA. If you enrolled during Open Season, your account is available on the first day of the benefit period.
If you are a new employee, your DCFSA is activated once you've enrolled and your employment is verified through your employing agency or its payroll office.
IMPORTANT: Unlike the HCFSA, you may only be reimbursed up to the funds available in your DCFSA on the day your claim is processed. Your entire election is not available on the first day of the benefit period.
If your bill for daycare exceeds the amount of available funds in your DCFSA account, FSAFEDS will process your claim and reimburse you the amount available in your account on the day of processing. Any eligible claim amount that exceeds the balance in your DCFSA at the time your claim is processed is pended until your next allotment is received at FSAFEDS. As soon as your next allotment is received, the remaining amount will automatically be released to you, assuming your next allotment of funds is sufficient to cover the balance of your original claim amount.
Example: A participant's bi-weekly DCFSA allotment is $400 and they pay their daycare provider $500 every two weeks. At the time the participant submits their claim, they have $400 in their account. FSAFEDS will process the claim and reimburse the participant $400. When the participant's next allotment is received, FSAFEDS will release the additional $100 to the participant, without them having to complete an additional claim form.
Daycare expenses cannot be reimbursed until services are actually provided. In other words, pre-paid daycare expenses, or expenses paid in advance, are not eligible for reimbursement under a DCFSA until the services have been rendered.