Dependent Day Care Flexible Spending Account (DCFSA)

The Dependent Day Care FSA is administered through PayFlex in order to pay for eligible child and adult* care expenses while you work; this includes day care, before and after school care, nursery school, preschool and summer day camp. If you are married, your spouse must also work, be a full-time student or be disabled. $5,000 is the maximum election for 2023. 

Grace Period and Reimbursement Deadline Extensions:

Due to recent Internal Revenue Service guidance in response to COVID-19, the university is adding flexibility for 2021 Flexible Spending Accounts to allow more time for you to incur eligible expenses and use the funds. 

  • The grace period to use your 2021 DCFSA funds is being extended from March 15, 2022 to December 31, 2022. The deadline to submit reimbursements to PayFlex is also extended from April 30, 2022 to April 30, 2023.
  • To submit claims, please follow these instructions.

Eligible dependents under the DCFSA include:

  • Children under the age of 13 whom you claim as tax dependents (if you are divorced or separated, you may be able to claim reimbursement for childcare expenses you pay even if you cannot claim the child as an exemption).
  • Spouse who is physically or mentally incapable of self-care and who resides with you for more than half the year.
  • Other dependent(s) that are physically or mentally incapable of self-care, whom you can claim as a dependent on your tax return, and who resides with you for more than half the year.


The DCFSA is elected using the GW Benefits Enrollment System as a new benefits-eligible employee within 30 calendar days from your date of hire, during Open Enrollment, or due to a Qualified Life Event.

File a claim

  • You can be reimbursed for 2021 DCFSA expenses incurred from January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2022. (The grace period for 2021 DCFSA was extended to December 31, 2022 due to impacts of the pandemic.)
  • Submit claims directly to Payflex online or with a paper claim form.
  • Attach the appropriate documentation including an explanation of benefits (EOB), receipt or invoice.
  • Documentation must include: provider or full name of product, patient name, amount and date(s) of service.
  • Cancelled checks, credit card receipt or balance due statement will not be accepted in lieu of an itemized bill or receipt.
  • Statements showing only a previous balance are not acceptable documentation.

For a general summary of the FSAs, please review GW's Flexible Accounts Summary Plan Description (PDF).