Human Resources
Finance & Administration

Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account

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The Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DCFSA) offers reimbursement for the costs of

  • Caring for covered dependent children under the age of 13
  • Caring for other dependents who cannot be left alone while the employee and/or spouse is working or attending school full time.  

How It Works

Eligible faculty and staff members may contribute a maximum of $5,000 per year to fund a DCFSA. This amount is reduced to $2,500 per year if the employee is married and files a separate return. The combined DFSA benefit available to a married couple is $5,000 per year.

Within this limit, you choose the total amount you wish to save for the year. The funds are then deducted from your paycheck pre-tax each pay period in equal amounts, resulting in a lower taxable income for you.

Note: Employees should consult a tax advisor to determine if using the DFSA is more advantageous than the federal income tax credit related to dependent care.

Submitting Claims

Effective with the 2014 plan year, Lehigh’s FSAs are administered by WageWorks.  Once you have enrolled in the DCFSA, you can begin submitting claims directly to WageWorks. It is essential that you keep all receipts for eligible expenses. You will need to submit receipts along with your claim.

Important “Use or Lose” Conditions

Any funds that are not used for services that take place within the plan year (January 1 – December 31) are forfeited by the employee. So, careful planning is essential when establishing a DCFSA.

The deadline for submission of reimbursement requests from a Lehigh DCFSA is March 31st following the end of the calendar year in which the expense was incurred. This extra three months is intended to give you time to submit claims for bills received after December 31 for services that took place during the plan year.

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