Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account
Milwaukee County provides you with an opportunity to pay for your dependent care costs on a pre-tax basis and have freedom of choice as to your day care provider.
Taking advantage of federal tax laws, the County will deduct on a pre-tax basis any amount you choose consistent with the current federal dollar limitations for dependent care costs. You do not have to pay State or federal income taxes or social security tax on this money. The tax savings can be applied to your dependent care costs; the net result is that you can reduce your dependent care costs by 25% to 30% in the course of a year. The Internal Revenue Service Tax Codes define what constitutes a dependent. In certain circumstances a dependent can include an elderly parent who needs day care.
You should consult your tax adviser if there is any question in your mind of the dependency status of your children and/or parents regarding this benefit.
Eligibility and Enrollment
All Milwaukee County employees with an assigned work week of 20 hours or more are eligible as long as they have:
a) A dependent under the age of 13 whom you are entitled to claim as a dependent on your tax return, or
b) A spouse or other tax dependent that is physically or mentally incapable of caring for him or herself
(special rules apply to certain circumstances where non-custodial parents are entitled to claim the individual as a dependent).
Enrollment is conducted during the annual 'Open Enrollment Period'. Coverage is effective at the beginning of the plan year (calendar year) and is for the whole year. New hires can enroll within thirty (30) days of their date of hire and annually thereafter. To enroll, make your selection online on www.benefitenroll.com.
If you have questions about your flexible spending account, contact EBC, the County's third party administrator at 1-800-346-2126.
Change of Family Status
If you participate, you may be allowed to make a benefit change by completing a new election form for the rest of the period of coverage because of a Change of Family Status. According to the Internal Revenue Service, the following events are situations that constitute a 'Change of Family (or Employment) Status':
- Divorce or Legal Separation;
- Death of Spouse or Dependent;
- Birth or Adoption of a Child
- Termination or Commencement of Spouse's Employment;
- Employee or Spouse employement change from Part-time to Full-time or Full-time to Part-time Status; or
- Employee or Spouse taking an unpaid leave of absence.
If you experience a change of family (or employment) status, you have 30 days from the status change to modify your election. The 30-day adjustment period for employees on maternity leave begins the first day they return to work. The Department of Human Resources must receive notification of a status change as soon as possible and no later than the fifth of the month prior to the effective date of the change.
Once you have elected to participate, the plan year begins on your enrollment date (January 1, except for new hires) and ends on December 31. You cannot modify your choices once they are made except for a 'Change of Family Status' as noted above.
All deductions for dependent care are use or lose - if you do not make use of the amount deducted, the income is forfeited to the plan.
Low Pay/No Pay Situation
If your deductions exceed earnings, the difference over your earnings will go into arrears. Payments for an arrears balance are then paid/deducted with after tax earnings.
There will be two deductions in the first two available paychecks during each month of participation.
Clicking here will give you Step-by-Step Instructions for filing a claim with EBC for Dependent Care Flexible Spending. Once you recieve a bill or pay a daycare submit the verification of payment (e.g. statement, receipt, bill) as affidavits of services rendered, and submit using an EBC Claim Form or other methods from the step-by-step instructions. You can also find a claim form at the home page at www.benefitenroll.com.