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Exceptional Family Member

Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP)

When you transfer to a new duty station, everyone in your family has to make adjustments. Meeting new friends, changing schools and jobs, and getting familiar with new surroundings can be exciting and stressful at the same time. And there are added challenges when someone in the family needs special educational or medical services.

The military's Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) is designed to identify family members with special needs and make sure that the service member is assigned to a location where the family member's medical needs will be met. If someone in your family qualifies for the program, you are required to enroll in the EFMP. Enrollment has no adverse effect on your military career.

What is an exceptional family member?

An exceptional family member is defined as an authorized family member residing with the sponsor who may require special medical or educational services based on a diagnosed physical, intellectual, or emotional handicap. An authorized family member may be a spouse, child, stepchild, adopted child, foster child, or a dependent parent. Disabilities may range from mild to severe.

Special needs include any special medical, mental health, developmental or educational requirement, wheelchair accessibility, adaptive equipment, or assistive technology devices and services.

How the program works

The EFMP ensures continuity in your exceptional family member's care and education as your family moves from place to place. The program combines the efforts of the personnel and medical commands, the family support center, and the educational system.

The term Exceptional Family Member Program, or EFMP, actually refers to two functions in the military services:

The personnel function

* Identifies family members with special medical needs, documents the services they require, and considers those needs when making personnel assignments.
* Involves the personnel and medical commands and the DoD educational system overseas.
* Is standard across all of the services.

The family support function

* Assists the service member with coordinating military services and community services for exceptional family members.
* Involves family support center staff.
* Differs from service to service. (EFMP is available as a family support function in the Army and Marine Corps only.)


Getting enrolled

It's important to start the enrollment process as soon as your family member is identified as eligible for the EFMP. Don't wait to enroll until you have orders. If the qualifying condition is discovered during screening for overseas orders, your family's travel could be delayed while arrangements are made to coordinate the availability of medical and educational services.


The EFMP coordinator in New Orleans is at NAS JRB Medical. The contact number is (504) 678-3660. Belle Chasse Academy on NAS JRB has a special education department. All other public schools in the area that are currently open are mandated by federal and state law to provide special education services to students. Schools also have registered nurses on staff for added assistance. Also, contact Military OneSource at 1-800-342-9647 for further assistance and guidance.

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