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Dependent care flexible spending account (DepCare FSA)

Administered by WEX Health

You set aside money for your dependent care flexible spending account (DepCare FSA) from your paycheck before taxes are taken out and use the funds for caregiving expenses for your child (up to age 13) or eligible adult dependent.

In addition to UC faculty and staff, Academic Student Employees and Graduate Student Researchers are eligible for the DepCare FSA.

Interested in setting aside money for health care expenses for you and your family? Learn more about the health flexible spending account.

  • Full Full eligibility available
  • Mid Mid eligibility available
  • Core Core eligibility available
  • Retirees Retirees eligibility available

How to enroll

Newly hired employees, newly benefit-eligible employees and those experiencing a qualifying life event can enroll through their UCPath online account during their Period of Initial Eligibility.

You must re-enroll annually during Open Enrollment if you want to continue participating. Enrollment does not continue automatically into the next plan year.

How the plan works

You contribute up to the IRS limit each year (in 2024, that’s $5,000 for most people) to use for qualifying dependent care expenses. Your FSA contributions are deducted from your paycheck before taxes are withheld, which reduces your taxable income and saves you money on taxes (depending on your situation).

The IRS defines employees who earned $150,000 or more in 2023 as “highly compensated,” and limits their 2024 DepCare FSA contributions to $3,000.

The Dependent Care FSA is a use-it-or-lose-it plan, with a grace period for using the funds in your account. You’ll lose any money over the carryover amount that you haven’t spent on eligible expenses by the end of the grace period, and claimed by the deadline.

For 2024, the grace period is March 15, 2025, and the deadline to submit claims is April 15, 2025.