Dependent Care Assistance Plan (DCAP)

The County of San Bernardino offers a Dependent Care Assistance Plan (DCAP) that allows you to take a pre-tax deduction from your income to pay for eligible dependent care expenses as an alternative to taking the Dependent Care Tax Credit (DCTC).

DCAP Resources

FSA/DCAP Participant Portal EBSD Phone: 909.387.5787 EBSD Email:

How the Plan Works

Eligible employees make an election to authorize a bi-weekly deduction amount from their pay to be placed into their DCAP account. When an eligible expense is incurred, a DCAP Reimbursement Request form must be submitted, along with proof of payment and a statement of service that supports that the expense was incurred. The expense must be incurred during the plan year to be eligible.

Employees are charged a nominal fee of .70 cents per pay period to cover administrative costs.


Employees are eligible to participate in the DCAP if they are covered under a Memorandum of Understanding, Compensation Plan, Employment Contract or Contract with an entity that expressly provides eligibility for the DCAP.


Per IRS regulations, your election is irrevocable. You may not revoke or change your election for the remainder of the Plan Year unless you experience a Section 125 qualifying Mid-Year Change-in-Status Event.

Employees may enroll in the DCAP:

  • During the annual DCAP open enrollment period in November each year
  • Within sixty (60) days of a Section 125 Qualifying Change-in-Status Event. The requested DCAP election change must be consistent with the event. This may include but is not limited to the following:
    • Commencement of County employment (New Hire)
    • Marriage
    • Divorce or legal separation
    • Death of spouse or dependent
    • Birth or adoption of a child or placement for adoption/guardianship
    • Termination of spouse’s employment
    • Commencement of spouse’s employment

DCAP plan elections are only valid for the current plan year. Employees must elect to enroll in the plan each year to continue participation. The DCAP plan year effective date is January 1, each year.

Contribution Limits

The maximum annual contribution for the calendar year is the lowest of the following amounts:

  • $5,000 for single persons or married couples filing jointly
  • $2,500 for married persons filing separate federal tax returns
  • The earned income of the employee or employee’s spouse

When deciding on an annual contribution amount, keep in mind that:

  • Elections for the plan year are irrevocable unless you experience a midyear qualifying change-in-status event
  • DCAP contribution amounts that are not claimed for reimbursement do not rollover to the next plan year. Any unclaimed funds will be forfeited and applied toward the cost of administering the plan
  • If your spouse also participates in a DCAP, the annual maximum includes any benefits he or she received under the DCAP
  • Expenses reimbursed through your DCAP account may not be applied to your dependent care tax credit

Eligible Expenses

Pursuant to IRC Section 129, expenses are considered eligible for reimbursement if the expense:

  • Enables the gainful employment of you or your spouse
  • Is paid on behalf of a qualified dependent
  • Is incurred for dependent care that is provided by an eligible dependent care provider

Expenses that are not eligible for reimbursement under the DCAP include expenses paid for dependent care which do not enable you or your spouse to work; expenses paid to a person who you or your spouse are entitled to claim as an exemption for federal income tax purposes; tuition or education expenses for a child in kindergarten or above; fees paid to your child who is age 18 or younger for babysitting; overnight care at a convalescent nursing home for a dependent relative; overnight camp; or expenses for lessons, tutoring or transportation.

Qualified Dependent

A qualified dependent under the DCAP is a dependent that an employee can claim for federal tax purposes and is:

  1. Employee’s child who was under age 13 when care was provided and lived with the employee for more than half of the calendar year.
    1. The child must be the employee’s son, daughter, stepchild, sibling, step-sibling, or a descendant of any such individual, eligible foster child, legally adopted child, or a child lawfully placed with the employee for adoption.
    2. The child must not have provided over one half of their own support during the calendar year.
  2. Employee’s spouse, relative or child over the age of 13, who is physically or mentally incapable of self-care, lived with the employee for more than half of the calendar year, and regularly spends at least eight (8) hours each day in the employee’s household.
  3. Dependents defined by Internal Revenue Code Section 152 as a qualifying relative must meet the following criteria to be eligible:
    1. Received more than half of his or her support from the employee for the calendar year.

Eligible Dependent Care Providers

Eligible dependent care providers include the following:

  • A licensed daycare center (must care for more than six children who do not live at the daycare center)
  • A private babysitter
  • An elderly or handicapped care center
  • In-home medical attendant care

Note: You must provide the name, address and tax identification number of your dependent care provider on all claims and on your tax return.

Run-Out Period

Claims for eligible expenses incurred within the plan year can be submitted for reimbursement no later than thirty-one (31) days after the end of the plan year.

Additional Information

Note: This webpage only contains a summary and partial listing of DCAP Plan benefits, terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations. For a full and complete listing, please refer to the appropriate plan document. If any differences appear between this summary and the plan document, the information in the plan document shall govern.

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