- Care must be for children under 13 unless they are incapable of self-care. An annual Letter of Medical Necessity is required if the dependent is over 13 and should be submitted with your claim (see below for the letter). Due to the COVID-19 relief law signed in December 2020, the maximum age for DCAP eligibility may be 14 in 2021 if your employer chose that option. Check with your employer to determine the maximum age for DCAP dependents under your plan.
- Care must be provided by an individual with a tax ID or a Social Security Number.
- Care must allow the parent(s) to be gainfully employed and be custodial in nature.
- Licensed day care facilities
- Preschool programs
- After-school programs
- In-home child and dependent care services
- Babysitters if the babysitting is to allow the parent to work
- Elder care (NOTE: dependent care expenses for tax dependents over the age of 13 require proof of medical necessity)
- Day camp expenses if not educational in nature
- Certain application fees
During COVID-19, many people have hired relatives or friends to watch children while the parents are at work. This is an eligible expense for DCAP reimbursement as long as the friend or relative isn't your spouse, the parent of the child, your dependent, or your child under age 19.
If your family member is your employee and no exceptions apply, then you're generally responsible for withholding and paying income and employment taxes. If your family member isn't your employee, then the family member will generally be responsible for paying income taxes and any applicable self-employment taxes on the income earned.
Expenses not covered
- Care provided by a parent or sibling under age 19 or by someone you claim as a dependent for tax purposes
- Late fees due to late payments and fees charged for missed days
- Transportation, activity fees, meals, and food items
- Overnight camps, after-school educational classes, sports, or enrichment classes
- School expenses including kindergarten or summer school
- Virtual day care or virtual day camps
- Private tutors
- Music and dance lessons
- Swimming lessons
1. Gather documentation for this claim
This can be a provider invoice, which must include:
- Provider name
- Provider address
- Date(s) of service
- Amount charged
Receipts showing payment are not required.
You can alternatively work with the provider to complete a paper (mail-in) claim form and have them sign it.
2. Submit the claim
This can be done online through your account at www.carefirst.com/myaccount or by sending in a paper claim form. You will be asked for the following information:
- The provider tax ID or Social Security Number (this field is optional)
- Dependent name
- Required documentation
Online reimbursement claims
To submit an online reimbursement claim:
- Sign in at www.carefirst.com/myaccount and select your spending account profile.
- Choose Get Reimbursed from the I Want To… menu.
- If you have more than one account, select DCAP account, then click Next
- Enter the amount you would like to request, then click Next
- Add or select a bank
- Add the dates of service
- Enter the name of the service provider (the field below for the service provider tax ID is optional)
- Select the name of the dependent receiving the care
- Click Next
- Attach your documentation. You can either upload a completed Dependent Care Form or upload your receipts
- Click Next
- Review and accept the terms by checking the I certify box
- Click Submit
Your documentation will need to include the following items:
- Date of service
- Name of the dependent who received care
- Name of the service provider
- Type of service
- The amount you were charged for service
Attachments must be less than 15MB in size and in one of the following file formats: JPG, PDF, TIFF, PNG, or BMP.
Mail-in reimbursement claims
You can also request reimbursement by mailing in a paper form. This method will take longer. Use the link found later in this page.
When to submit claims
- Submit claims for care that has occurred in the past.
- Submitting claims monthly is easier than submitting each pay period. Don't wait until the end of your runout period, as it may take longer to get reimbursed.
- Make sure the start of your claim service date falls on or after your account's effective date.