* This site is privately owned and is not affiliated or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any other government agency.

Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP)


The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) is a Department of Defense (DoD) support initiative for military families with special medical or educational needs. It focuses on providing assistance, resources, and services to enhance the quality of life for these individuals. The primary goals of EFMP include ensuring access to appropriate healthcare and educational services, as well as considering the family member’s needs during the military personnel’s assignments and relocations.

Key Takeaways

  1. EFMP is a mandatory enrollment program designed to support military families with special medical or educational needs, providing tailored services and resources.
  2. The program aims to ease the transition and relocation process for eligible family members while ensuring access to appropriate care and support services.
  3. Enrollment in EFMP ensures that family members’ needs are taken into consideration during the assignment process, promoting long-term family stability and well-being.


The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) is an essential term in the context of VA benefits because it demonstrates the Department of Defense’s commitment to providing comprehensive and coordinated support to military families with special needs.

This program aims to ensure that military personnel, who have family members with physical, emotional, developmental, or intellectual disabilities, receive assistance in accessing medical, educational, and other essential services.

By properly classifying and enrolling family members in the EFMP, military families can receive the necessary support and resources, which in turn helps maintain the service member’s mission readiness and overall well-being.

Additionally, awareness of this program is vital for service members and their families to take full advantage of the benefits offered by the VA and DoD.


The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) is an essential support system with a critical purpose of aiding military families with extraordinary needs. Its primary objective is to ensure that military personnel’s family members with special requirements receive adequate and appropriate care while implementing comprehensive consideration of their medical, educational, or disability-related needs during the assignment process.

Apart from facilitating services, this program also aims to heighten the military community’s awareness and understanding of the unique challenges faced by exceptional family members. EFMP is designed to work as a collaborative effort that unites various service branches to extend resources and services to military families.

These include medical, housing, and educational support catered to the specific individual’s conditions. By tailoring resources and assistance under this program, EFMP serves as a critical component in enabling military families managed coping mechanisms and enhancing their overall quality of life.

Additionally, the program enables service members to focus on their professional duties with the assurance that their exceptional family members are receiving the needed care and support, ultimately strengthening our military’s readiness and effectiveness.

Examples of Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP)

The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) is a mandatory enrollment program for military families with special needs, including medical, dental, mental health, developmental, or educational requirements. The goal of the program is to provide necessary support and resources to families so they can thrive while serving the nation. Here are three real-world examples demonstrating the impact of EFMP:

Mandatory special needs assessment: A military family with a child diagnosed with autism moves to a new duty station. The EFMP coordinator at the new location works with the family to assess the child’s unique requirements, including specialized educational services, therapy services, and medical care. This ensures that the family can access the appropriate resources at their new location.

Assignment coordination assistance: A military spouse has a chronic health condition requiring specialized medical care. When her service member receives new orders, the EFMP coordinator works closely with the gaining installation to ensure the new duty location can accommodate the spouse’s medical needs. This coordination avoids any disruptions in the spouse’s care and contributes to the family’s well-being during the transition.

Support groups and workshops: An army couple has a child diagnosed with ADHD and they’re struggling to adapt to the child’s needs. The Family Support component of the EFMP connects the couple to a local support group for parents of children with ADHD. Additionally, the family can attend workshops and seminars related to ADHD management, giving them the tools and resources to better support their child.

Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) FAQ

What is the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP)?

The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) is a support program for military families with special needs members. It aims to assist service members in managing the unique challenges and logistical aspects tied to caring for family members with special needs while serving in the military.

Who can enroll in the EFMP?

Active Duty service members who have a special needs family member can enroll in the EFMP. This includes spouses, children, and dependent adult family members with medical, behavioral, or educational needs that require ongoing assistance or support.

How do I enroll my family member in the EFMP?

Enrollment in the EFMP starts by visiting your local military treatment facility or contacting your command’s EFMP representative. You’ll need to complete the necessary forms and provide medical documentation to support the enrollment. Once your family member’s eligibility is confirmed, they will be enrolled in the EFMP.

What types of benefits and services does the EFMP provide?

The EFMP provides a variety of support services, such as medical care coordination, educational assistance, resource referrals, relocation assistance, and family support. These services are designed to help families more effectively navigate the unique challenges that come with having a special needs family member while serving in the military.

Will enrollment in the EFMP affect my service member’s career?

Enrollment in the EFMP should not negatively impact a service member’s career. The EFMP is designed to support military families and ensure that special needs members receive the necessary care and assistance. Enrollment in the program may result in assignment limitations or considerations related to ensuring access to appropriate resources for the family member with special needs.

How do I update or change my EFMP enrollment information?

If there are any changes in your family member’s medical or educational needs or if you need to update your contact information, contact your local EFMP representative or military treatment facility. They will guide you through the process of updating your enrollment records and making any necessary adjustments to your family member’s support services.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Family Support Services
  • Individualized Education Program (IEP)
  • TRICARE Extended Care Health Option (ECHO)
  • Medical Assignment Screening
  • Special Needs Accommodations

Sources for More Information