UCSB Caring for Children

UCSB Dependant Care (DepCare) Reinbursement Program

End of Navigation

Contact Information

SHPS. Inc.
Phone: 1-800-678-6684


The DepCare program allows you to pay for certain dependent care expenses on a pretax, salary reduction basis. When you enroll, you designate an amount from your paycheck, thus opening your DepCare account. This amount is deducted before Federal, State and Social Security taxes are taken out, thus lowering your taxable earnings.

Eligibility requirements:

  • A child under age 13 in your custody whom you claim as a dependent on your tax return;
  • A spouse who is physically or mentally incapable of self-care; and
  • A family member who lives with you-such as a child over age 13, parent, sibling, or in-law-who is physically or mentally incapable of self-care, and whom you claim as a dependent on your tax return.
  • If care is provided outside the home, the family member must live in your home at least eight hours each day.

You determine how much you want taken from your monthly paycheck(s), up to the lesser of:

  • $5,000 per plan year ($2,500 if you are married and filing a separate income tax return), or
  • Your total earned income,
  • Your spouse's total earned income,
  • If your spouse is incapable of self-care or is a full-time student, you may claim up to $2,400 for one dependent or $4,800 if you claim two or more dependents.

If your spouse is also eligible to participate in a dependent care assistance plan, your combined contributions should not exceed the maximums stated above. The IRS requires you to forfeit any unclaimed money in your DepCare account after the closing date for the plan year.