By Breasia Williams

In late March, U.S Army Secretary Christine Wormuth announced that there will be a new office created to better aid the stationing process for military families with members who have special needs. This office will encompass many Army benefits for family members with special needs and builds upon the Army’s previous work with military special needs families.

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What U.S. Army Benefits For Family Members With Special Needs Will Be Available?

The Army benefits that will be available in consideration of family members with special needs span from housing to personal services. The office that will provide these services is called the Army Exceptional Family Member Program, and it operates through a central office.

The Exceptional Family Member Program also has support agencies at the installation level to assist families. When a support agency or family member needs additional assistance to find the right Army benefits for family members with special needs, the team members of the central office of the Exceptional Family Member Program will step in to help.

The central office reviews cases received from installations, and focuses on advocacy at the Army headquarters level and Department of Defense level. For years, military families with special needs have expressed their concerns with the availability and quality of medical care and special education.

The Exceptional Family Member Program works with military and civilian agencies to provide a variety of benefits for Army families, including housing, healthcare, education, and other personnel services.

Secretary Wormuth said, “The foundation of Army readiness depends on taking care of our Soldiers and families…Each Army family is unique, and the EFMP Central Office will provide tailored support for over 40,000 families enrolled in EFMP.”

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How to Get Benefits Through The Exceptional Family Member Program

Before seeking Army benefits for family members with special needs through the Exceptional Family Member Program, military families should first approach their Army Community Service or military treatment facility professionals if they need help or encounter barriers to education or healthcare needs for their family.

If they run into a dead end with these methods, the Exceptional Family Member Program will assist in getting additional US Army benefits for family members with special needs. Active duty Soldiers enroll in the program when they have a family member with a physical, emotional, developmental or intellectual disorder requiring specialized services.

The needs of an eligible family member are considered in the personnel assignment process, in order to achieve the Exceptional Family Member Program’s goal of keeping family members together by providing Army benefits that allow them to come with the service member to their duty locations.

Improving the Lives of Soldiers

The Exceptional Family Member Program is set to help improve the quality of life of US Soldiers. Though this program is for active duty military members who are constantly restationed, Army reserve benefits are available under TRICARE for non-active duty families with special needs.

All branches of the military offer an Exceptional Family Member Program; about 110,000 active duty service members are enrolled.

Soldiers and family members who have questions or concerns about the Exceptional Family Member Program that have not been resolved at the local level can contact the central office at usarmy.pentagon.hqda-dcs-g-9.mbx.efmp@army.mil.

All correspondence concerning benefits for family members with special needs must include the local military treatment facility and military personnel division location.

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