Lucido calls on Feds to allow immediate changes to dependent care flexible spending accounts

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Peter J. Lucido on Thursday called on Congress to permit people with dependent care flexible spending accounts to have immediate access to those funds for purposes beyond specified uses.

“The government response to the coronavirus has resulted in the closure of many businesses, including child care centers,” said Lucido, R-Shelby Township. “At the same time, families are working from home or have lost jobs and a steady source of income, while their children are home because schools are closed. People are in need of help, and those with flexible spending accounts have thousands of dollars they can’t access, except for very specific uses that are currently less important than their emergent needs.

“I’m calling on Congress to temporarily let people amend their contributions, unenroll and have access to their FSA money immediately to help deal with the impact of the coronavirus on their family budgets.”

Lucido said he intends to introduce a Senate concurrent resolution to formally make the request of Congress.

Flexible spending accounts for dependent care are often used to set aside money tax free to pay for dependent care expenses, like child care, so a parent or guardian can go to work or school full time.

Currently, once a person enrolls in an FSA, they cannot change their monthly contribution, except under specific circumstances, and the funds in the account must be used for specified costs within the year, or they are forfeited.