I put $750 into what I thought was a health/vision limited FSA this year through my employer. Apparently, this is actually a dependent care FSA. I don't know how this happened (whether it was my error or my companies error is not clear to me, I would not have intentionally signed up for dependent care FSA though).

I have no dependents and will have zero ability to use this money legitimately.

What are my options to recover this money?

  • 2
    whose mistake it was makes a big difference. If you filled out the form for the non-dependent one, and they put it in the wrong one, they can fix it. If you filled out the wrong form, there is no way they could have known. Nov 7, 2015 at 22:22
  • @mhoran_psprep I'm not sure who is at fault. I selected 2015 benefits through a phone conversation with a benefits person. But considering that was a year ago, I'm not sure what happened. I know for a fact I would not have intentionally signed up for the dependent care FSA (we have no kids...) but.. I don't remember what happened in that conversation.
    – enderland
    Nov 7, 2015 at 22:53
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    I have never signed up via voice. I have always signed up via handwritten form, or via a website. Both of which leave you with proof. Nov 7, 2015 at 23:45
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    @mhoran_psprep my plan is to call them Monday. I'm hoping this isn't a stupid tax over an otherwise minor mistake..
    – enderland
    Nov 8, 2015 at 0:19
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    @mhoran_psprep it turns out in this case it was their mistake (and they had confirmation I selected the limited purpose health care FSA as my election). From the conversation I had, it sounds like this would have been... problematic if they didn't have that documentation. So I guess I'm lucky in this case..
    – enderland
    Nov 9, 2015 at 15:24

1 Answer 1


Following up on this, here is what I did.

First, I called my benefits provider.

They had documentation of my election over the phone, which then allowed them to retroactively fix the problem. Had they not had this documentation, I would have been out of luck.

Second, the next step for "fixing" occurred when I received my W-2 for this position. This W-2 mistakenly showed the amount for my medical FSA in box-10 of my W-2 as the same dependent care FSA.

This requires calling/emailing my benefits and payroll department to get an updated W-2...

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