Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP)

The DCAP allows you to set aside pretax money from your paycheck to help pay for qualifying child care or elder care expenses. The Health Care Authority (HCA) contracts with Navia Benefit Solutions to process claims, and provide customer service for PEBB members.

Manage your DCAP account

Am I eligible?

The Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP) is only offered to PEBB benefits-eligible employees who work at:

  • state agencies
  • higher-education institutions
  • community or technical colleges.

How can the DCAP help me?

Child and elder care can be one of the largest expenses for a family. The DCAP allows you to set aside money from your paycheck on a pretax basis to help pay for eligible expenses while you (and your spouse or state-registered domestic partner) attend school full-time, work, or look for work. Eligible expenses include elder day care, babysitting, day car, preschool, and registration fees. Listen to the Fund Your Future DRS podcast episode: Save on healthcare costs with FSA and DCAP to learn more about DCAP.

A qualifying dependent must be:

  • Age 12 or younger and live with you.
  • Age 13 or older, physically or mentally incapable of self-care, and regularly spend at least eight hours each day in your household.

How do I enroll?

Note: University of Washington and Washington State University employees must enroll through workday.

During open enrollment

When you're first eligible for benefits

  • Submit the PEBB Midyear Enrollment Form to your payroll or benefits office no later than 31 days after the date you become eligible for PEBB benefits.

If you have a special open enrollment event

  • Submit the PEBB Change in Status Form and return it - along with evidence of the event - to your payroll or benefits office no later than 60 days after you or an eligible family member has a qualifying event that creates a special open enrollment.

Note: You must enroll in the DCAP for each plan year you want to participate. Your enrollment does not automatically continue year to year. If you want to enroll, make sure to choose this benefit again during open enrollment.

How much can I contribute?

Estimate your expenses for the plan year and enroll in the DCAP for that election amount. (The more accurate you are in estimating your expenses, the better this benefit will work for you.) Navia will calculate how much money should be deducted from your pay based on the number of paychecks you will receive during the year.

DCAP contribution must be at least $120.

DCAP contributions are limited to:

  • $5,000 annually for a single person or married couple filing a joint income tax return.
  • $2,500 annually for each married participant who files a separate income tax return.

The total amount of your contribution cannot be more than either your earned income or your spouse's earned income, whichever is less. Earned income means wages, salaries, tips, and other employee compensation plus net earnings from self-employment.

For more help, use the Navia Benefit Solutions Tax Savings Calculator.

Note: You cannot change your election amount after the plan year starts unless a qualifying event creates a special open enrollment. Common qualifying events include birth, death, adoption, marriage, or divorce. Your election must be consistent with the qualifying event.

How do I submit claims?

When you incur an eligible expense, submit a claim online, use the mobile app, or send a claim form by fax, mail, or email to request reimbursement.

You can start submitting claims for reimbursement of eligible expenses as soon as the plan year begins (January 1). However, you can only be reimbursed up to the dollar amount you have in your DCAP account at the time you request reimbursement. Services must have been provided before you can request reimbursement.

What is the deadline to spend my funds?

DCAP expenses must take place by December 31 each year. You must submit all claims for reimbursement to Navia Benefit Solutions no later than March 31 of the following year. Your account will close March 31 of the following year unless you chose to enroll for the following year.

After March 31 of the following year, if you did not enroll, your account will be closed and any balance remaining will be forfeited to the Health Care Authority. Once the money is forfeited, you will not be able to claim it. This is called the "use-it or lose-it" rule.

What happens to my DCAP funds when coverage ends?

If you terminate employment and have unspent DCAP funds, you may continue to submit claims for eligible expenses through the end of the claims run-out period (March 31 of the following year), so long as the expenses allow you to attend school full-time, look for work, or work full-time. Claims may be submitted up to your account balance. You cannot incur expenses after December 31 of the plan year. There are no continuation coverage rights for the DCAP.

For more information on when coverage ends, see the DCAP Enrollment Guide on Navia's website. You can also call Navia at 1-800-669-3539 or email Navia customer service.


Navia Benefit Services
Online: Navia Benefit Services
Email: Navia customer service
Mobile App: download for iPhone or Android
Phone: 425-452-3500 or toll free 1-800-669-3539, Monday-Friday 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Pacific)
Mail: Navia Benefit Solutions, PO Box 53250, Bellevue, WA 98015-3250