Dependent Care Reimbursement Account (DCRA)
Interested in reducing your taxes? The California State University Dependent Care Account (DCRA) allows you to pay certain dependent care expenses from your salary before income and Social Security taxes are calculated and deducted. A monthly administration fee of $1.00 will be deducted from your salary on an after-tax basis.
Plan brochure can be downloaded through Adobe Acrobat or you can obtain hardcopies through the Office of Human Resources.
New employees may enroll in the plan within 60 days of becoming eligible. Coverage will become effective on the 1st of the month following enrollment, subject to State Controller's Office processing timelines. Employees who do not enroll during the initial 60 days, will be eligible to enroll during any subsequent annual open enrollment period or due to a change in status.
You are eligible to enroll in the DCRA if you are in an Executive, Management Personnel Plan (MPP), Confidential or other non-represented position, or are covered by a collective bargaining agreement that provides this benefit.
Eligible dependents for whom DCRA reimbursements can be claimed are: a child or children under age 13 or a financially dependent member of your household who is physically or mentally disabled and who regularly spends at least eight hours per day in your home.
To enroll in the plan, employees must log onto the eBenefits online enrollment system to request enrollment. The eBenefits Self-Service Authorization form will need to be submitted to the Office of Human Resources prior to enrollment or re-enrollment in this plan.
Once you enroll, you will not be able to change your contribution amount until the next open enrollment period unless you have a change in status. If you have a change in status, you may increase (up to the appropriate IRS limit), decrease, start, or stop your contributions by filing a new Authorization Form within 60 days of the status change.
Family Status Change:
Allowable status change events are listed below:
- Change in Marital status – Marriage, divorce, death of spouse, legal separation or annulment.
- Change in Number of dependents – The birth, death, adoption or placement for adoption of a child. The definition of dependent includes a spouse who is physically or mentally unable to care for him/herself.
- Dependent begins or ceases to meet eligibility – The dependent satisfies (or ceases to satisfy) dependent eligibility requirements for DCRA (i.e., child reaching age 13);
- Termination/commencement of employment – The beginning or the end of employment of the employee, spouse or dependent;
- Work hours change – Change in work schedule, including a reduction or increase in hours, full-time/part-time switch, start/stop of unpaid leave of absence or a strike or lockout of employee, spouse or dependent;
- Significant increase or decrease in cost of your dependent care provider (as long as provider is not a relative).
- Change in dependent care provider;
- Judgment, decree, court order, or Qualified Medical Child Support Order (QMCSO).
You can contribute any amount from a minimum of $20 to a maximum of $416.66 per month ($5,000/year).
The IRS may impose additional limits in special situations. It is strongly recommended that you consult with a tax advisor before enrolling in this account.
Deductions & Reimbursements
Your monthly contribution to your Dependent Care Account (DCRA) will be deducted from your paycheck and deposited into a special tax-free account. Deposited funds are held in your DCRA until you incur eligible expenses and file a claim form for reimbursement. Even when paid out as reimbursements, the funds remain tax-free.
Comparing DCRA Contributions with the Tax Credit
Dependent care expenses may qualify for a tax credit on your income tax return. The credit you can claim is based on your adjusted household gross income and the number of eligible dependents you have. You should consider which method will offer you the greatest tax savings.
There is no established rule about who may benefit from one method or another; your own situation can be determined only by a close look at your records. Personal tax situations vary. You should carefully consider the impact a DCRA will have on your tax status. You may want to consult your financial planner or tax advisor.
Third Party Administrator (TPA)
Application Software, Inc. (ASI) is located in Columbia, Missouri and has participated as a TPA for flexible spending account plans since 1988. ASI will be mailing confirmation packets to enrolled participants by the beginning of the 2004 plan year. Packets will include a confirmation statement, an assigned personal identification number (pin), detailed account access instructions, a supply of claim forms, and a direct deposit enrollment form.
The Dependent Care Reimbursement Account Claim form can be downloaded through Adobe Acrobat, ASI’s website at http://www.asiflex.com/, or a hardcopy can be obtained from the Office of Human Resources, SA 2600. Completed claim forms should be mailed to ASI at the following address:
P.O. Box 6044
Columbia, MO 65202-6044
Bi-Monthly Claims Reimbursement
Reimbursements will be sent out on a bi-monthly basis based on the following payment schedule:
- Claims received by the 5th of the month, will be mailed or sent electronically to participants’ account by the 15th of the same month.
- Claims received by the 20th of the month, will be mailed or sent electronically to participants’ accounts by the end of the same month.
Direct Deposit or Mailing of Claim Reimbursements
You have the option of receiving claim reimbursements by mail in the form of a check, or by direct deposit, if you submit a “Direct Deposit Authorization” form to ASI for processing. This form can either be downloaded from ASI’s website, http://www.asiflex.com/, or requested by contacting ASI at (800) 659-3035. If you choose to enroll in direct deposit, you also can request that reimbursement notifications and account statements be sent via e-mail, rather than U.S. mail..
Accessing Account Information
Participants in the Dependent Care Reimbursement Account plan can access their account information by telephone or via the Internet:
- Toll-Free Telephone Access allows you to contact ASI Monday through Friday, from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., Pacific Standard Time, by dialing (800) 659-3035. To properly serve your account during these hours, this telephone number gives you direct access to a “live” customer service representative.
- InfoLine 125 is an automated, 24-hour telephone information line that provides you with information about account balances and claim reimbursements. InfoLine 125 is updated on a daily basis for accurate information, and can be accessed by dialing (800) 366-4827.
- Online Access allows you access to your personal account via the Internet at:http://www.asiflex.com/.
You may file claims for expenses incurred during a plan year any time up to six months after the end of the plan year (June 30 of the next year).