Supplemental Security Income

Elderly woman receives assistance with her benefits.

Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is a federal income supplement program designed to help the aged, blind and people with disabilities who have limited income. It provides them with cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing and shelter.

You can find out if your family member is eligible for SSI by completing the SSA’s Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool. Start the application process by visiting the Social Security Administration to learn everything you need to know about applying. Social Security Disability Insurance and Medicaid for Family Members With Special Needs provide additional information on government programs providing similar support.

Leadership Information

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Background

The Exceptional Family Member Program supports military families with special medical and educational needs.
A family member with special needs can be a spouse or other dependent adult, or child who:

  • Requires medical services for a chronic condition
  • Has significant behavioral health concerns
  • Receives ongoing services from a medical specialist
  • Is eligible for, or receives early intervention services through, an Individualized Family Service Plan – children birth through age 2
  • Is eligible for, or receives special education services through, an Individualized Education Program – children ages 3 through 21

Key Points

Leadership at all levels should be familiar with their service-specific Exceptional Family Member Program regulations and policies.

Identification and Enrollment

When a family member is identified with special medical or educational needs, these are documented through enrollment in the Exceptional Family Member Program. Enrollment in the program is mandatory for active-duty service members. This allows medical and educational personnel to review the availability of medical and educational resources in projected assignment locations. This also ensures that the family member’s documented medical and educational needs are considered during the assignment process.

Paperwork required for enrollment in the Exceptional Family Member Program is available from the program’s medical point of contact at the installation military treatment facility or, in the Marine Corps, from Marine Corps Community Services.

Paperwork includes:

The DD Form 2792, “Family Member Medical Summary,” which documents medical needs. The service member, spouse or other adult family member completes the first page. The remainder is completed by the family member’s physician or other qualified medical professional and includes the diagnosis, frequency of care, medication and any special accommodations required.

The DD Form 2792-1, “Special Education/Early Intervention Summary,” which documents educational needs. The sponsor, parent or legal guardian completes items one through seven of the first page. The remainder of the form is completed by school or early intervention program personnel. The form includes the child’s educational diagnosis and is accompanied by a copy of the Individualized Family Service Plan or the Individualized Education Program.

After the appropriate medical or educational provider completes the form(s), they must be returned to the Exceptional Family Member Program medical point of contact.

Assignment coordination

The military mission is the driving force behind the assignment process, but the Exceptional Family Member Program enrollment ensures that a family member’s special needs are considered during that process. Assignment coordination occurs when the personnel command requests medical or educational professionals to review a family member’s documented needs (available because of the Exceptional Family Member Program enrollment) to determine availability of services at a projected location.

Assignment coordination is important, because access to appropriate medical and educational services may be limited in some locations, especially in overseas and remote areas. When assignment coordination occurs, family members receive the care and support they require, and the service member can focus more clearly on mission-related responsibilities.

Family support

The Exceptional Family Member Program family support assists families with special needs by helping them identify and access programs and services. It includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Information and referral for military and community services
  • Education and outreach about issues related to the special need
  • Referral to other family center providers
  • Local school and early intervention services information
  • Warm handoffs to the Exceptional Family Member Program at the next location
  • Non-clinical case management

The Exceptional Family Member Program family support providers are primarily located at installation family support centers. Families not located near an installation may contact the nearest installation for assistance or call Military OneSource. Exceptional Family Member Program contact information can be found at:

  • Service websites
  • Installation family support centers
  • MilitaryINSTALLATIONS
  • Military OneSource at 800-342-9647

Guard and Reserve

Members of the National Guard or reserves may enroll according to service-specific guidance.

Title V Programs for Children with Special Needs

Child and horse.

Every state has services for children with special health care needs. The Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant, or Title V of the Social Security Act, funds these services. The grant tasks each state with ensuring the health of our nation’s women and children, including children with special health care needs and their families. Each state is permitted to tailor its services and programs to best meet its specific needs. This variation between states can be confusing because state Title V programs often have different titles and types of service.

Title V programs

These programs provide access to medical services to children under the age of 18 who have or are at increased risk for a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral or emotional condition. These children typically require health and related services beyond that required by most children.

In addition to providing direct, personal health care services to eligible children, state Title V programs have a responsibility to improve the quality of health care for children with special health care needs, including assisting with:

  • Delivery of health care services – Organization and delivery of health care services that meet the emotional, social and developmental needs of children
  • Development of health care plan – Integration of families into all aspects of developing and updating the health care plan
  • Support for families – Support for families based on alternatives and choices that meet their needs and strengths
  • Facilitation of professional collaboration – Facilitation of family and professional collaboration at all levels, especially in planning, implementing and evaluating programs and related policies

Additional benefits of Title V programs may include:

  • Early identification of health or developmental problems
  • Screening of the child and family’s concerns, priorities and resources
  • Tracking or monitoring
  • Therapeutic intervention, including family education, support, resource identification, referral and coordination

Determining eligibility for Title V programs

Title V programs vary state to state, but eligibility is determined by:

  • Age – Children are eligible from birth through age 18 (21 years of age and older in some states).
  • Medical criteria – Medical eligibility is determined at the local Children With Special Health Care Needs office.
  • Income – Families must meet established income eligibility guidelines. In most states, parents are asked to financially participate in their child’s medical care based on a sliding scale and to use any third-party coverage they may have.

Additional information

Here is where Title V programs are available:

  • All 50 states and the District of Columbia
  • American Samoa
  • The Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Marshall Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, and Palau
  • Puerto Rico
  • The Virgin Islands.

Learn more about the Title V program in your state:

Toll-free hotlines

State Maternal and Child Health agencies are required to maintain a toll-free hotline to help you get information about your state’s Title V programs and providers. Check out this directory to locate your local Title V program’s information. The national Title V toll-free hotline number is 800-311-2229 (Spanish: 800-504-7081).

Other resource centers for parents

Family-to-Family Health Information Centers. Each state has centers to assist you. Health professionals and family members who have children with special health care needs staff each center. The family members offer firsthand experience navigating the health care maze. All Family-to-Family Health Information Centers provide information and referral, education, training and support services.

Center for Parent Information and Resources. The Center for Parent Information and Resources from the Office of Special Education Programs at the U.S. Department of Education provides Parent Centers to educate parents and improve outcomes for children with disabilities. There are nearly 100 Parent Training and Information Centers, or PTIs, and Community Parent Resource Centers, or CPRCs, in the US and Territories. Find a parent center near you by visiting the Center for Parent Information and Resources website.

Visit your installation Exceptional Family Member Program Military Family Support Center, or contact a Military OneSource special needs consultant if you have any questions about the care or education of your family member with special needs. Call us at 800-342-9647.

EFMP Forms

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DD Form 2792, “Family Member Medical Summary,” August 2014 This form is used to document a family member’s special medical needs and for enrollment in the Exceptional Family Member Program. This information assists military assignment personnel in matching the family member’s special medical needs against the availability of medical services at the projected duty station.

DD Form 2792-1, “Special Education/Early Intervention Summary,” August 2014 This form is used to document the special education needs of a child with a disability, birth through age 21, and for enrollment in the Exceptional Family Member Program. This information will assist military assignment personnel in matching the child’s special education needs against the availability of educational services at the projected duty station.

 

Special Care Organizational Records

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Special Care Organizational Record for Children with Special Health Care Needs This record is designed as an organizing tool for parents of children with special health care needs. It is intended to help track and organize a child’s information to make it easier for someone else to care for the child in the parents’ absence.

Special Care Organization Record for Adults with Special Health Care Needs This record is specifically designed as an organizing tool for families with an adult member with special health care needs. This includes spouses and adult children with special health care needs, as well as any other adult dependent family member.

Special Care Organization Record for Elderly Family Members This record is designed to facilitate the care of older family members. It is intended to provide a central location for keeping and tracking older family members’ records and other pertinent information.