TRICARE Extended Care Health Option (ECHO) provides financial and other assistance to beneficiaries who qualify based on specific disabilities. It offers an integrated set of services and supplies beyond the basic TRICARE program used by military families.
To be eligible, you must register for TRICARE ECHO and be enrolled in the EFMP. This requirement is waived for Service members who are not offered EFMP enrollment. For the Air Force, enrollment requirements are waived for Guardsmen and Reservists, who remain eligible for ECHO in specified circumstances.
TRICARE ECHO provides benefits for the following products and services:
For complete details, go to: http://www.tricare.mil/echo
Air Force Respite Child Care provides active duty, Guard and Reserve families up to 20 hours per month per child of free care. Sibling care is also available at no cost. Service is typically provided in the child’s home but is also available in child care centers or licensed Family Child Care homes. Providers are recruited, screened, and trained to provide care for children with special needs.
Requests for exceptions to policy may be made on a case-by-case basis.
Child Care Aware will connect the Airman’s family and interested providers to the local partner agency. The agency will work individually with each family to complete the necessary application and assist with connecting the family to a local respite care provider who can meet their needs.
Contact Child Care Aware at:
This program provides individualized personal support to Airmen who are ill or wounded in support of combat operations.
Phone: (800) 581-9437
Easter Seals has been helping individuals with disabilities and special needs, and their families, live better lives for nearly 100 years. From child development centers to physical rehabilitation and job training for people with disabilities, Easter Seals offers a variety of services to help people with disabilities address life’s challenges and achieve personal goals.
The Fisher House donates “comfort homes” to allow family members to be close to a loved one during the hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease, or injury. There is at least one Fisher House at every major military medical center.
Phone: (888) 294-8560
Comprised of Parent Training and Information Centers (PTIs) and Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs), Parent Centers provide training and assistance to families of children with disabilities. These are funded through the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) under the individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Air Force families can find Parent Centers in their state by going to http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center/ for an interactive map with contact info for every parent center in the United States and US Territories.
The Social Security Administration has answers to questions about Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance, and other monetary assistance programs. Families receiving SSI or other SSA-sponsored assistance must contact SSA before relocating to ensure continuity of benefits.
This site is a central, trusted, up-to-date source for Service members and families to obtain information about all quality-of-life programs and services. Military OneSource has a team of highly qualified specialty consultants who specialize in the lifestyle of military families with special needs. The consultants can answer questions about family support, as well as questions about transitioning, post-secondary education, housing, moving, support for adults, and much more.
Call 800-342-9647 to schedule an individualized, private, and confidential consultation.
Web: http://www.militaryonesource.mil http://www.militaryonesource.mil/efmp
The Exceptional Advocate is a newsletter for military families with special needs and those who support them. The newsletter provides monthly updates and information from the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP).
The virtual Military Personnel Flight (vMPF) is an online, easy-access resource where sponsors can obtain additional information about EFMP and other AFPC programs. Sponsors initiate the EFMP reassignment process via the vMPF.
Zero to Three’s mission is to support the healthy development and wellbeing of infants, toddlers, and their families. The national, nonprofit, multidisciplinary organization informs, educates, and supports adults who influence the lives of infants and toddlers. Visit their military families web page.
Specialized Training Of Military Parents (STOMP) is the only National Parent Training and Information Center program for military families that provides support and advice to military parents regardless of the type of medical condition their child has. The STOMP Project hosts a LISTERV for military families and professionals to use to share ideas. This enables military families all over the world to connect, learn, and help each other as they raise their children with special needs in military communities.
Through STOMP, parents can learn about the resources available to them, and receive advice on educating their children and navigating the health care system. STOMP also offers workshops.
The Armed Services “Y” in your area provides access to emergency assistance support groups, counseling, and transportation to medical appointments and therapeutic recreation outlets.
The Special Care Organization Record (SCOR) has multiple uses. It is designed as an organizing tool for families who have children with special health care needs. Use the SCOR to keep track of information about your child’s health and care.
In caring for your child with special health needs, you may get information and paperwork from many sources. The SCOR helps you organize the most important information in a central place. This makes it easier for you to find and share key information with others on your child’s care team.
Use your SCOR to:
Medicare: 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227)
Social Security Administration: 800-722-1213, or
For access to these resources from OCONUS locations, consult the A&FRC