The Dependent Care Assistance Program provides reimbursement for eligible work-related dependent care expenses for your eligible dependents (as defined below).
Download Dependent Care Claim Form
What Are Eligible Expenses?
Eligible expenses that qualify for reimbursement include expenses incurred on behalf of eligible dependents.
- care at a day care center that complies with all appropriate state and local regulations.
- care by a housekeeper whose duties include dependent care.
- care by a relative who cares for the member's dependents, so long as the relative is not another one of the member's dependents. (For example, a member cannot be reimbursed for paying the member's 16-year-old child to care for the member's 2-year-old infant).
- care for an elderly or incapacitated spouse or dependent, either in the member's home or outside of the members' home. If the member is claiming reimbursement for care outside of his or her home, the dependent must spend at least eight hours each day in the member's care.
- care at a day camp to which the member sends his or her school aged children during school vacations for work-related dependent care expenses.
What Are Non-Reimburseable Dependent Care Expenses?
The following are examples of expenses that do not qualify for reimbursement under the Dependent Care Assistance Program:
- dependent care that allows you and your spouse to participate in leisure time activities or take vacations;
- expenses claimed as a tax credit on your federal income tax return;
- expenses incurred so that you and your spouse can perform volunteer work;
- food, clothing, overnight camp and entertainment; and
- 24-hour nursing homes.
- Expenses for entertainment or enrichment (i.e. after school sports, dance lessons, education or enrichments programs such as computer, tutoring, or music classes)
- Amounts paid to your child under age 19 or to any person who can be claimed as a dependent on your federal income tax return are not eligible dependent care expenses, and may not be reimbursed under this Program.
What Are Work-Related Dependent Care Expenses?
To be work related, your eligible expenses must allow you to work or look for work. If you are married, generally both you and your spouse must work or look for work. Your spouse is treated as working during any month he or she is a fulltime student or is physically or mentally not able to care for him or herself.
Work also includes actively looking for work. However, if you do not find a job and have no earned income for the year, these expenses do not qualify as work-related expenses.
Who Are Eligible Dependents?
Eligible dependents, for purposes of the Dependent Care Assistance Program, include any individual who lives with you and who is:
A child under age 13 who is claimed as a dependent on your federal income tax return; or a spouse who is physically or mentally incapable of caring for himself or herself; or a person (including an elderly parent) age 13 and up who is a dependent for federal income tax purposes and is physically or mentally incapable of caring for himself or herself.
What is Needed to Submit a Claim?
The following information is required in order for a claim to be eligible for reimbursement. A paid receipt, an invoice marked paid or a written statement from the person or organization that provide the services on appropriate letterhead and must include all of the following:
- The name of the child or children the services have been provided for
- The type of service provided (i.e. daycare, preschool, camp, before and/or after school care, etc.)
- The dates of service (from/to) NOT PAYMENT DATES
- Total amount paid for services provided
- The provider's signature
- The provider's name and complete address
What is Unacceptable Proof of Payment?
- A receipt or written statement created by the member and signed by the provider
- Payment history statements
- Copies of cancelled checks
- Past dependent care assistance receipt form
HOW WILL THE BENEFIT WORK?
You may submit eligible expenses on a monthly basis and you will be reimbursed up to a maximum of $1,000.00 annually. When submitting a claim, you must include a copy of an invoice marked “paid” or a written statement from the person or organization that provided the care, including the dates of service and the amount paid. Copies of cancelled checks are not accepted as proof of payment. You must also include the provider of care’s name, address and taxpayer identification or Social Security number, the beginning and end dates the care was provided and for whom, and the amount of the expense, as well as any additional information that the Fund my request.
How Do You File Claims for Reimbursement?
When submitting a claim for an eligible dependent care expense, you must include a copy of an invoice marked "paid" or a written statement from the person or organization who provided the care having the dates of service and the amount paid.
Please note, copies of cancelled checks are not accepted as proof of payment. You must also include the provider of care's name, address and taxpayer identification or Social Security number, the beginning and end dates the care was provided and for whom, and the amount of the expense, as well as any additional information that the Fund may request. No claim will be processed if all of the questions on the claim form are not answered and if a copy of a paid statement is not included.
All claims for services each calendar year must be post marked not later than the following January 31st. No
reimbursement will be issued retroactively for any claim received by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts /NAGE Fund Office after that date.
In accordance with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidelines, reimbursements for dependent care expenses can be made only after the care has been provided and not when you are billed, charged, or pay for services. Be sure to sign and date the form. Keep a copy of the completed form and attachments with your records. Claim forms are available from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts/NAGE Fund Office.
Please note that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts/NAGE Health and Welfare Trust Fund will be required to report your reimbursement amount to both you and the IRS each year on an IRS Form W-2.
Is There A Limit on Dependent Care Benefits?
All benefits payable under this Program and any contributions you make to a dependent care spending account must be taken into account in determining whether you are exceeding the legal limit on tax-free dependent care benefits.
Members should be aware that benefits under all dependent care plans, including this plan, cannot exceed the lesser of:
- $5,000 if you are single or married and file a joint income tax return; or
- $2,500 if you are married and file a separate income tax return; or
- your earned income, if single; or
- if you are married, the earned income of the spouse who earned the lesser amount during the calendar year.
Download Dependent Care Claim Form