Postdoctoral Fellows - Child Care Benefit

Child Care Benefit

The Child Care Benefit helps you pay for eligible child expenses for your dependents, such as licensed day care centers, nursery schools and before-and-after school programs. 

You may be eligible for a University contribution of up to $5,000 to a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA). If you are eligible, you must enroll in the Child Care Benefit to receive this contribution. If you enroll after January 1 because of a Qualified Life Status Change, you will receive a prorated portion of the benefit.

To be eligible for this benefit, you must meet all of the eligibility criteria below:

  • Be a full-time, benefits-eligible Postdoctoral Research Fellow.
  • Have a dependent child under the age of 6, not yet attending kindergarten, who:
    • Has been verified by the Columbia Benefits Service Center as an eligible dependent; and
    • Meets the IRS definition of a tax dependent.

There is a limit of one single benefit per family regardless of number of eligible children, and/or whether both parents are eligible employees.

The Child Care Benefit will be deposited into a Dependent Care FSA with UnitedHealthcare (UHC). Your reimbursement for child care cannot exceed the balance in your FSA account at the time of your claim. University Child Care Benefit contributions are considered imputed income, which will be included in annual 1099 or W2 statements.