So I changed jobs in August. My previous employer had a pre-tax deduction for dependent care, which we took advantage of during the years of our highest child care expenses. While the "deductible" years of expenses are dwindling, of course, the expenses keep coming as any parent well knows.
Anyway, I was denied a claim for an expense on the grounds that the "Service Dates" (the dates when the expense occurred) were outside of the time I was enrolled in the plan. WTF?
Put it this way: I can submit claims for preschool expenses, which has been one of our big ones. But of course, this expense is only incurred Jan-Jun and Sep-Dec. But I budgeted my deduction amount based on having significant expenses incurred in Sep-Dec as usual, and the deductions are supposed to be for expenses in the calendar year. I could conceivably have zero expenses in the summer, despite having money deducted.
So how can they say I can't submit for an expense I was planning for, in the eligible calendar year, just because my employment ended? The money is still there, and the only way I can access it is with eligible expenses!
Fortunately, two things are true:
- I changed my deduction in May because we realized our expenses would be less as a result of program cancellations.
- We did have an expense over the summer (a nanny) that, while it wasn't a lot, should be enough to cover the remaining amount.
Actually 3) because I was furloughed in July the total money set aside was even less. They can't take money out of a paycheck if they're not paying you.
Still. WTF? Seems like I should be able to submit for September based on deductions made in June, July, and August, even if my employment ended before the expense was incurred. Normally, you have until MARCH to submit claims for the previous year, under continued enrollment that is.
TexturedSoyProtein last edited by TexturedSoyProtein
This is an issue relating to benefit plan years not always lining up with calendar years.
The way a dependent care FSA is supposed to work when you leave a job is you can continue to be reimbursed for expenses incurred after your last date of employment, IF they fall in the same plan year you were in when you left the company.
I'll use my company as an example, our benefit plan year is Nov 1 to Oct 31. If an employee were to leave the company on Aug 15, they would be able to be reimbursed for expenses incurred from Aug 16 - Oct 31, but not after Oct 31.
So, when does your former employer's plan year end?
LooseonExit last edited by
@functionoverfashion Your previous employer's plan dates may be screwing you (as mentioned above). Fortunately ours goes with the calendar year, but stupidly I did have to have my wife tell her work that policy change was allowable per the gov as they didn't know lol. My wife has been doing the paperwork and she's actually had good luck with calling them to clear up issues and re-file so that might be worth a shot.
@texturedsoyprotein The fiscal year was July 1 / June 30 but the plan was for expenses by calendar year... so, yeah. I don't know.
TexturedSoyProtein last edited by
@functionoverfashion Even though you don't work there anymore, best move is probably to reach out to their HR and see if they can sort it out for you. Oftentimes an individual contacting these insurance/benefit type companies has less luck than an HR rep speaking on behalf of the company.
@texturedsoyprotein That's a good idea. I think I've got an expense I can use against the remainder that falls within the eligibility period, but if that doesn't work, I'll definitely try that next.
I will say, my previous employer's HR was better than my new one! Hopefully I don't have to deal with HR very much in general, and when I do I try to give lots of lead time.