How do I know if a Dependent Care FSA is right for me?

Are you the primary caregiver for your child(ren) or a disabled relative? Maybe you care for an elderly parent? If you are paying for their care during the day so that you can go to work, you may save money with a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DC FSA)!

What is it?

A DC FSA is an account that helps you save money in taxes on your dependent care expenses. You elect a certain amount for the year to be taken out of your paychecks pre-tax, and in equal increments, and put into your DC FSA. You can access the money in your account by using the Surency Flex Benefits Card or by requesting reimbursement after paying upfront. Eligible expenses you can use the funds in your DC FSA for include:

  • Qualified child care expenses for dependents under the age of 13 while you are at work.
  • Adult day care services for dependent adults who are unable to care for themselves and live with you at least eight hours each day.

Funds may not be used to pay for overnight camps, care provided by a dependent, spouse, or child under the age of 19, and care provided while you are not at work. 

What's the benefit?

By contributing to a DC FSA pre-tax, you are lowering the amount of your total income that can be taxed by the IRS. Because of that, you will pay less in taxes come tax season.

How does it work?

If your employer offers a DC FSA at Open Enrollment time, you can elect up to a certain amount to set aside in your DC FSA for that year (2019 maximum: $5,000 for married couples filing joint federal taxes or for single caretakers, and $2,500 for married couples filing separate federal taxes). You will have access to that money as it is taken each pay period. If you participate in a DC FSA, you cannot claim child care credits on your tax return. Before you enroll, you should evaluate the tax advantages for each option with your personal tax or financial advisor.

How do I access my funds?

You will receive a Surency Flex Benefits Card in the mail, which you can use to pay for expenses which were incurred during your current Plan Year. You can also submit a claim for reimbursement online using your Member Account, on the Surency Flex Mobile App, or by downloading and submitting a Dependent Care Reimbursement form. To avoid forfeiting any money at the end of your Plan Year, make sure to use all funds in your DC FSA.


Need more information? Click here to view our Frequently Asked Questions.