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Exceptional Family Member Program


Managing the care and services for a family member with medical or educational needs can be easier with the right support. The Exceptional Family Member Program strives to help your military family thrive in military life.

What is EFMP?

EFMP is more than just one program or connection point. It’s the work of three components:

  • Identification and Enrollment
  • Assignment Coordination
  • Family Support

visual representation of how the three components of EFMP work together

Military OneSource provides resources to support your MilLife journey that include:

  • Special needs consultations
  • EFMP & Me checklists
  • Office of Special Needs EFMP podcast series

If your spouse, child or other dependent family member requires ongoing medical or educational services, your first step is to enroll in EFMP. Enrollment is mandatory. Once enrolled, you will have access to the services, support and information that will help you become your family’s best advocate.

Exceptional Advocate eNewsletter

Get quarterly EFMP updates in your inbox from the Office of Special Needs. Stay connected with the Exceptional Advocate eNewsletter.


Identification and enrollment in EFMP

As part of EFMP Identification and Enrollment, your medical provider or staff from Early Intervention Services or your child’s school will provide support and help to coordinate your family’s enrollment into EFMP. While enrolling into EFMP, you can also request a referral to TRICARE to request a review for eligibility for the TRICARE Extended Care Health Option which may provide additional medical support services for family members with complex medical needs.

Take time to learn more about EFMP and how it can benefit your family.

EFMP Family Support

EFMP Family Support providers play a critical role in providing information, referral, family needs assessments, family service plans and transition support during PCS moves to help you achieve the goals that are unique to your family. The program connects you with the resources, expert consultation, education and community support you need so you can access services and support in the manner that work best for your family.

Reach out to your local EFMP Family Support office to learn more about EFMP and the support available to your family.


EFMP is a Defense Department program that provides comprehensive support and services to military families with special medical or educational needs through identification and enrollment, assignment coordination, and family support services. Each branch of service implements EFMP to support individual, family and unit readiness needs in accordance with DoD Instruction 1315.19. Click the links below to access service-specific information.

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Military OneSource special needs consultants

Military OneSource provides free special needs consultations to answer your questions and concerns related to your child or adult family member with special medical or educational needs.

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Online Learning Resource

Browse or search the MilLife Learning Course Catalog to find courses for families with special medical or educational needs.

Assignment coordination

Enrollment in EFMP comes with special considerations for military families with special medical or educational needs. While the military mission is the driving force behind the assignment process, enrollment in EFMP ensures that your family member’s medical or educational needs are considered during the assignment coordination process.

Factors considered in the CONUS assignment coordination process include:

  • Availability of appropriate medical staff
  • Distance to care
  • Wait time for medical providers
  • Severity of the family member’s need
  • Frequency of care

For CONUS assignments, notifications will include the reason for the decision. Service members can request a second review of the decision within 14 business days of receiving their assignment notification.

Families can contact their EFMP Family Support provider to request a warm handoff to the gaining installation to ease their PCS transition.


EFMP respite care

Respite care is a temporary break for the primary caregiver of a family member with special medical or educational needs. Families enrolled in EFMP may receive respite care through their branch of service’s EFMP respite care program if they meet eligibility requirements.

Depending on your family member’s level of need, your family may receive 20 or 32 hours of respite care each month. Families experiencing exceptional circumstances may be eligible to receive additional respite care hours each month.

Families who wish to receive respite care may request an eligibility review through their EFMP Family Support office.


EFMP strives to continually enhance services and have transparent communication with service members and families with special medical or educational needs. The program is committed to improving EFMP to establish more standard procedures across the services to make it easier for families to find what they need when they need it.

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