EFMP process updates create standardization across branches

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Allison Payne
  • 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The Exceptional Family Member Program has undergone enterprise-wide changes to its processes since September 2021. Active duty members utilizing the program are urged to review and understand the implemented changes in a timely manner in order to maximize consequential benefits when it comes to future assignment relocations.

The EFMP is a United States Department of Defense enrollment program that provides comprehensive and coordinated community support, housing, educational, medical and personnel services worldwide to military families with special needs. Enrollment in the EFMP comes with numerous benefits for military families, such as priority consideration during the assignment process and assistance with helping families navigate the medical and educational system.

“The EFMP is a Congress-mandated program,” said Staff Sgt. David Silvernail, 51st Medical Support Squadron Exceptional Family Member Program-Medical. “Its overall purpose is to manage the care and services available for family members’ medical needs. Active duty service members can enroll in the program if they have a family member with a physical, developmental, or emotional needs which require specialized services.”

According to Military One Source, each branch of service has its own mission and history with EFMP. Over the past several years, however, there has been a focus on standardizing provided services across all branches to make it easier for families to find what they need when they need it. The more families understand how EFMP works, the better their experience can be.

“The Air Force Personnel Center has improved the EFMP program to reflect more on the service members and their families’ needs,” said Summer Hogue, 51st MSS EFMP-M special needs coordinator. “Screeners are now at the centralized cell and not the local Military Treatment Facility offices to ensure ease of access. AFPC assignment counselors now stand ready to help guide service members if their applications are declined.”

Hogue explained the changes were made to the EFMP program because the local Military Treatment Facilities had differing policies. Consequently, the changes focused on standardizing Military Treatment Facility policies Air Force-wide. Previously, AFPC found that non-command sponsored families were traveling to host nation countries that were unable to support them, which ultimately ended with AFPC coordinating reassignment, humanitarian or early return dependents applications. The goal of revamping the process is to prevent these hurdles from repeating.

“Spouses and family members over the age of 18 must now complete their screener application before they come to our office,” Hogue said. “Members should gather their last three years of off base medical records, if applicable, and have any documentation originally generated in different languages, officially translated before their visit. Insufficient medical records can lead to re-assignments, so this is crucial information to be aware of.”

Hogue added that the new EFMP process requires Form 2792-1 for school-age children to be signed by the schools. If the child is not already enrolled in school, parents must sign the second and third pages of the form. The AF form 1466D must be signed by the children’s respective dentists. She emphasized incomplete applications to AFPC can lead to re-assignments.

“AF forms 4380 and 1466 are no longer being used in the process,” Hogue said. “Members will now get an email from MyVector six to eight months before their Report No Later Than date. They will then fill out the Travel Screening Questionnaire to start their application. If they get a green checkmark, they are good to go and will need to print that paperwork for the Military Personnel Flight. If members receive a code or link to their spouse’s email, the spouse must complete the Family Medical Screening Questionnaire in MyVector.”

Some of the recent EFMP Family Support resource enhancements include an EFMP & Me tool, Exceptional Advocate newsletter, Office of Special Needs EFMP podcast series and an overall improved communication process with families.

“Service members and families can find more information through Military One Source, EFMP Family Vector website and the Air Force EFMP Facebook,” Hogue said. “Members should contact their local EFMP office for any current updates and changes.”

Access EFMP family support by visiting or calling your local installation’s Military and Family Support Center or by contacting Military One Source at 800-342-9647 and asking for a referral to a special needs consultant.