How Do I Withdraw Money From My Emergency Savings Account?

One of the benefits of your Emergency Savings Account (ESA) with Vestwell is that you can withdraw the funds that you need quickly and without the penalties of dipping into your long-term savings or turning to long-lasting debt. 

This article outlines the steps for withdrawing money from your ESA and shares some additional FAQs on ESA withdrawals.

Table of Contents:

Steps to Withdraw Money From Your ESA

1. Log In to Your Vestwell ESA Portal

To withdraw your ESA funds, you will need to log in to your Vestwell ESA portal.  

2. Begin the Withdrawal Process

Navigate to the homepage of your portal by clicking on the home icon on the left-hand side of the screen. Once you are on the homepage dashboard of your ESA portal, click on Withdraw Emergency Money. This button is on the right hand side of your dashboard underneath the “Last Used Bank Account” tile. 


3. Specify Your Withdrawal Amount

Next, you will need to enter the dollar amount you would like to withdraw from your Vestwell ESA. 

You will be able to type any amount on the dotted line as long as you have the corresponding funds available in your account. On the screen, you will be able to see the amount of money you have in your ESA that is available for withdrawal. Note that the funds available for withdrawal from your account will not include any contributions that have been made to the account within the previous 5 business days.

Once you have specified the amount of money you’d like to withdraw, click Continue.

Note: If you already have an outstanding ESA withdrawal request, you will need to wait until that request is completed before requesting another withdrawal. If you try to make a new request, you’ll receive the below message preventing you from proceeding. If you have any questions about a pending withdrawal request you can reach out to

4. Connect Your Bank Account

You will need to connect a bank account to deposit your ESA funds. Click Connect bank account to begin.

Note: If you have already connected the bank account where you’d like to transfer your funds, you can skip to step 5. You can always add another bank account if you’d like to transfer your funds to another account that you have not already connected to your ESA portal. 

Vestwell uses Plaid to securely connect your bank account(s) in seconds. Click Continue to access and connect your bank account(s) via Plaid. Follow the instructions on the screen to select your bank provider, log into your bank account, and select the designated account(s) for withdrawal. Once finished, your bank account will then be connected and appear on the Vestwell portal. You can connect as many bank accounts as you’d like. If you do not see your bank account provider listed or have any trouble connecting your bank account via Plaid, please reach out to

5. Select Your Bank Account for Withdrawal

Now that you have connected your bank account(s), you will need to select the bank account to which you’d like to transfer your ESA withdrawal funds. If you only have one bank account connected, select this one account. Then, click Continue.

6. Confirm Your ESA Withdrawal Request Details

As an extra check, you will need to confirm the details of your ESA withdrawal request. This includes confirming the withdrawal amount and the bank account for the transfer of ESA funds. Once you are all set, click Continue. If you need to adjust any details, you can click the Back button. 

7. Await Retrieval of Funds

Once you submit your request for an ESA withdrawal, your withdrawal request is reviewed and typically approved the following business day. In rare instances, our team may need to contact you for additional information required to approve your request. Once your withdrawal request is approved, the funds will be deposited into your selected bank account via ACH within 4 business days. 

8. *OPTIONAL* Answer the Survey Question

If you choose, you can answer the optional question on “Reason for this withdrawal?” for our informational purposes to better help you save towards your ESA. If you choose to answer this question, select a reason from the dropdown menu. 

Note: This information will not be used to accept or reject your withdrawal request, and it will not be shared with your employer. 

ESA Withdrawal FAQs

What Is an ESA Withdrawal?

An ESA withdrawal is when you take money out of your ESA account. This can also be called an ESA distribution. 

Is There a Limit on the Amount I Can Withdraw From My ESA?

No. There is no limit on the amount of money you can withdraw from your ESA, as long as the funds are available in your account. However, maintaining a healthy account balance for your financial situation can help you be secure in the face of unexpected challenges.

Are There Any Fees for Withdrawing Money?

No. At this time, there are no fees on any withdrawals. 

Does My Employer Know When I’ve Made a Withdrawal?

No. In order to protect your privacy, your employer will not be able to see information on any individual employee as it relates to withdrawals. 

How Long Does It Take for Me to Get My Money?

You should receive the money in your selected bank account within 4 business days of your withdrawal request approval. 

Can I Cancel a Withdrawal Request?

At this time, you cannot cancel an ESA withdrawal request once it has been submitted. However, you can always re-contribute the funds to your ESA once they have been transferred to your bank account. 

Please contact Vestwell at if you have any other questions or concerns about your withdrawals.