Reminder: Sometimes you need to double-check reimbursements

Our DDA (dependent daycare account) provider this year has been super obnoxious.  After years of correct and mostly easy (they would occasionally lose a fax, but were otherwise ok) handling of reimbursements, this year has been a huge amount of pain.  Last semester any time that we had to pay for a day off from school, the claim would be denied because we’d already paid for after school care for the semester.  This semester I did the day/week off reimbursements first and I hit a bunch of flags trying to submit my claim for after school care for the semester.

While I was poking around trying to figure out how much to charge for the semester’s after school care given that we’d paid for the full year, I noticed that the number we got reimbursed was not equivalent to half of the full year charge.  I thought that was odd and looked at our additional documentation.  I’d requested half the amount, but it hadn’t been reimbursed fully because my DDA hadn’t been debited that much yet.  Usually this isn’t a problem– they reimburse what they can and then reimburse the remainder the next month when my DDA gets the new payment.  This time they did not do that.  They *said* in the error message that came with the claim that they would do it, but then they never did.

Often you think you’re done with some kind of paperwork, but then for whatever reason it never fully executes.  It’s irritating, and adds to mental load.  But not paying attention can lead to lost money.

I added the difference to this semester’s claim.  That’s easier than calling them up and getting them to fix it that way.  There’s plenty in the DDA to cover it.  I also added a note to the form explaining how each type of care I had requested for reimbursement purposes did not actually conflict.  We’ll see how many errors they throw up this time.

Have you noticed any billing/reimbursement/etc errors recently?  How often do you check?  How do you remember to check?


15 Responses to “Reminder: Sometimes you need to double-check reimbursements”

  1. Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

    Best I can tell, DDA is “demand deposit account”? But this is your own money? So what is a reimbursement from your own money?

  2. Debbie M Says:

    I check for wackiness automatically whenever I balance my checkbook/update my spreadsheet, which is about twice a month.

    There are other areas in my life where this sort of check doesn’t work, but like your reimbursement requests, I hand off some task to another person and should be done with it, but may not be. I add a reminder in my calendar to check back, otherwise I never will. Once it’s handed off to someone else, it’s out of my brain!

    This is why I never tried for a job as graduate coordinator. In my department, every graduate student application had to be sent to three faculty members, one at a time. So you really would have to ask people repeatedly if they were ready yet. I prefer the kind of job where people have to ask *me* if I’m ready yet, and then I say yes.

  3. rose Says:

    1. In the past ‘unclaimed’ monies after year-end would remain with the company ~ is this what is happening but with an outsourced group? Ask your HR people. VERY VERY POLITELY.
    2. Unwillingness to correctly refund properly submitted claims is a potential sign of embezzlement. Or it could be incompetency which also needs red-flagging to your company who has chosen to outsource to this third party.
    3. OR, the rules for requesting reimbursement are not clearly stated and you cannot claim more than has been deposited to date. Double check what the law currently states about payments such accounts in your state. In my state the rules used to be the company had to pay and wait to collect from you….. but laws change.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Yes, they go back to the university. The company doing this is an outside company contractor, not part of the university. I assume it is just incompetence, and since we’re switching providers next year I assume I’m not the only person having trouble this year.

      There is a note on the first claim saying they would pay out the difference in the next paycheck, but then they didn’t. It’s $18, so not a huge deal, but in the past they were good about keeping track so I didn’t have to get on their cases.

  4. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    I have our FSA medical money summary set to one side on my desk to tackle later this month. I’ve not been feeling up to combing through the mess they seem to have made but I TEND to tackle tracking those things every 2 or 3 submissions to be sure that nothing gets in too much of a tangle.

    This does remind me that it’s a good time to submit a reimbursement for our daycare costs though. I decided to wait until at least mid year to submit since it takes out an equal portion every paycheck to make up $5000.

  5. nicoleandmaggie Says:

  6. Jenny F. Scientist Says:

    I check twice a year – in February-ish, when we do our taxes, and at the end of July, before the grace period runs out. So far I’ve managed to get all the money we put in back out! I find the whole process kind of ridiculous. Like, it could just be a deduction rather than having to launder it through all these accounts?

    Our medical FSA will reimburse the whole amount before it’s debited out of the paychecks, and I almost always hit the MOOP in three months or less (it’s super fun being really sick all the time!), so we get it all back more or less right away. The dependent care will only reimburse what’s been paid in, so it’s more of a pain.

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