Temporary Blackout Coming for FSAFEDS – Here is What This Means for You

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By on July 19, 2016 in Current Events with 0 Comments

A claims submission blackout period is coming soon for the FSAFEDS program. The blackout begins on July 30 and runs through September 1, and no claims can be submitted during this time frame.

All eligible claims must be submitted by 4 PM EST on Friday, July 29, 2016. For claims submitted by snail mail, they must be postmarked by Wednesday, July 20.

Any eligible claims that are not submitted prior to these deadlines – and claims for any expenses you incur during the blackout period – can be submitted beginning Thursday, September 1, 2016.

These are some other key dates with respect to the blackout period:

Date Event


Final day to mail claims, a new Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN), Qualified Reservist Distribution (QRD), and all other mailed participant requests.

Items must be postmarked by July 20 to be processed prior to the start of the blackout period (July 29, 2016).


Final day to submit claims online or by fax. Claims must be submitted by 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time.

Final day to fax a new Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN), Qualified Reservist Distribution (QRD), and all other participant requests. All items must be faxed by 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time.

Final day for paperless reimbursement claims.


Final day to enroll or to submit Qualifying Life Event (QLE) changes.


Final reimbursements will be released for all approved claims submitted prior to the start of the blackout period.


[email protected] email address will shut down at 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time.


The Customer Service Center and web site (www.FSAFEDS.com) will shut down at 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time.


Beginning at 9:00 a.m., Eastern Time, normal operations resume for www.FSAFEDS.com, the Customer Service Center, manual claims submissions, LMNs, QRDs, QLEs, and other participant requests.

[email protected] becomes the new FSAFEDS email address.


The processing of paperless reimbursement claims and pending dependent care claims resumes.

Federal employees will still have flexible spending account deductions taken from their pay but they won’t be able to submit claims as FSAFEDS switches plan administrators.

For federal employees who need financial assistance during this blackout period, the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund (FEEA) will be providing interest free loans. The loans can be repaid once FSAFEDS reimburses employees.

The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) asked FEEA to help out during the blackout period, and FEEA has agreed to make these loans for assistance.

NTEU president Tony Reardon said in a letter to FEEA, “Many NTEU members have recurring costs, such as child care, and rely on the FSAFEDS reimbursement to meet their financial obligations in a timely manner. It will unquestionably create a substantial hardship on employees using FSAs for recurring dependent care payments who will face not being reimbursed for multiple weeks.”

NTEU had originally asked OPM to shorten the blackout period, but OPM said they were unable to do that.

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About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.