How a Dependent Care FSA Works

You decide how much to contribute to your Dependent Care FSA each year, up to the maximum annual contribution limit. Funds are withdrawn from your paycheck for deposit into your account before taxes are deducted. As soon as your account is funded, you can use your balance to pay for many eligible dependent care expenses.

Be sure to estimate your annual dependent care expenses and make your contributions carefully. Any money left unspent in your Dependent Care FSA at plan year end is forfeited.

Watch It In Action: Dependent Care FSA

Using Your Account

With a variety of payment and reimbursement options, your Dependent Care FSA is easy to use.

Pay Your Provider

Arrange for convenient direct payments to your dependent care provider. Simply access your account online and fill out a simple form to have eligible expenses paid directly from your account.

Pay You Back

If your dependent care expenses are less predictable, pay them yourself and then get reimbursed for eligible expenses. Arrange for funds to be deposited directly to your checking account or for a check to be mailed to you.

Managing Your Account

You can manage your account via a secure website on any computer or mobile device that’s connected to the Internet or via the WageWorks EZ Receipts® mobile app.

The WageWorks EZ Receipts app makes managing your Dependent Care FSA quick, easy, and completely mobile. Once you download the app to your mobile device and log in to your account, you’ll be able to check your balances, submit claims, view transactions, take photos of receipts, and get account alerts by text or email. You can even have your dependent care provider sign receipts using your mobile device.


Have your dependent care provider sign receipts right from your mobile device.

Contributing to Your Account

You can contribute up to the following maximum annual contribution limits for your Dependent Care FSA:

  • $5,000 per year if you are single or married and file a joint tax return or if you file as head of household

  • $2,500 per year if you are married and file a separate tax return

Carefully estimate how much you want to contribute to your Dependent Care FSA. IRS guidelines state that Dependent Care FSA funds cannot be carried over year to year. Unused funds cannot be returned to you as cash or as other benefits.

Check out the FAQs for more information about contribution amounts.