FAQ: When is my FSA money available?
All your flexible spending account (FSA) funds should be available for use at the start of your plan year. In 2020, you can contribute a maximum of $2,750 to an individual FSA account and $5,000 to dependent care FSAs.
FSA funds are pre-loaded, so you pay back the funds incrementally through paycheck deductions throughout the FSA’s plan year. Contributions are exempt from federal income tax, federal unemployment tax and Social Security and Medicare taxes.
But, if you don’t use your FSA dollars, you will lose them. Any unused money at the end of the plan year is returned to your employer, including if you are terminated before all funds are spent.
Your employer may offer a 10-week extension that rolls over to the following calendar year or allow you to roll over up to $500 of unused FSA funds into the next plan year.
Neither the extension nor the roll-over are mandatory, so check the specific requirements of your company’s FSA with your account administrator.
Page updated February 2020