Dependent Care FSA
FSA Grace Period Extended
To help faculty and staff better manage their Health Care, Limited Purpose, and Dependent Care FSA plans, the Grace Period to incur eligible expenses for 2020 funds has been extended
2020 Dependent Care Accounts
2021 Dependent Care Accounts
If you have any questions, please contact PayFlex Customer Service at 1-844-PAYFLEX. They are available Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. CT, and Saturday, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. CT.
Special Mid-Year Considerations for Dependent Care FSA 2021
Those enrolled or wish to enroll in the Dependent Care FSA plan in 2021 who have changes to their childcare needs due to work from home restrictions can make changes to their 2021 election. To make a change to your 2021 election, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with a Subject of "2021 Dependent Care FSA Change Request" and indicate the new annual election you need. Please note:
- Any University Matching funds you receive will be reduced by the new election; and
- You must request to increase the election once your childcare needs change in the future.
In accordance with IRS regulations, the maximum you can contribute to a Dependent Care FSA is $5,000 per year for a married couple filing taxes jointly or a single head of household; or $2,500 each for a married couple filing separate tax returns. Your contributions will be deducted from your paycheck on a pretax basis throughout the year and credited to your account on a monthly basis. If you have dual Northwestern and Northwestern Medicine appointments making you eligible for both dependent care FSA plans, it is important to keep the $5,000 total maximum in mind when enrolling.
Dependent care University match
Employees with a family adjusted gross income up to $130,000 can apply for Northwestern matching funds by completing the online Dependent Care Employer Match Application. For assistance completing this form, review this User Guide. Note: non-employee postdoctoral trainees are eligible for University funds for child care.
|Household Earnings||Northwestern Election Match (%)||Maximum Contribution|
|Up to $60,000||80%||$4,000 per year|
|$60,001-$75,000||60%||$3,000 per year|
|$75,001-$100,000||40%||$2,000 per year|
|$100,001-$130,000||20%||$1,000 per year|
Notes: Northwestern maximum match is based off an annual election of $5,000 University matching contributions are added to a participant’s taxable wages.
- A child under age 13 in your custody whom you claim as a dependent on your tax return.
- A spouse who is incapable of self-care, or
- A dependent who lives with you, such as a child over age 13, parent, sibling or in-law-who is incapable of self-care, and whom you claim as a dependent on your tax return.
If care for a disabled spouse or dependent is provided outside the home, the dependent must live with you at least eight hours a day. Please visit the PayFlex website for a list of eligible dependents.
Newly eligible employees may enroll online through myHR within 31 days of hire.
- An individual may change his FSA contributions within 31 days of a qualifying change in family status. Changes in child care arrangements or expenses are not considered qualifying events.
- If on a leave of absence, the employee is not eligible for the Dependent Care FSA until he/she has returned to work. At that time, you must enroll in the Dependent Care FSA online via myHR.
- During Open Enrollment, an individual must re-enroll through myHR to continue participation in the FSA the following year.
File a claim
- Submit claims directly to Payflex using Express Claims or a paper claim form. You will not be reimbursed for expenses until after the care is provided.
- Include the social security number or federal tax identification number of the child care provider.
- Individuals participating in the Dependent Care Account may be reimbursed only up to the amount in his or her account.
- Payment may be received by check or direct deposit.
- All eligible funds for plan year 2020 must be claimed by March 31, 2021. Under Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations, any monies not claimed from the FSA as of March 31, 2021 are forfeited.