Short-and-sweet tutorial on where to get useful data on military families in your state: Active Duty, National Guard, Veterans-plus some creative ideas on using the data. Available with notes pages, which expand a bit on the slides.
When your service member separates or retires from the military, where do you go to find civilian services for your child with a disability? Certain military benefits will end and civilian supports and services will need to be put in place. This resource can help you understand which services your child might keep, and what civilian options you can explore.
If you are PCSing to a “forever” home location, this article includes resource finders available across the United States and Territories.
As you read down the columns, you will see references to Parent Centers. Parent Centers are funded by Office of Special Education (OSEP), US Department of Education to support parents of children age birth to 26 who have disabilities.
In addition to the extensive resources at your state’s Parent Center(s), you can also use resources at the Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR), a national center serving Parent Centers and families with online information. According to the CPIR:
“There are nearly 100 Parent Training and Information Centers PTIs) and Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs) in the US and Territories. These Centers perform a variety of direct services for children and youth with disabilities, families, professionals, and other organizations that support them. Some of the activities include:
- Working with families of infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities, birth to 26
- Helping parents participate effectively in their children’s education and development
- Partnering with professionals and policy makers to improve outcomes for all children with disabilities” – https://www.parentcenterhub.org/the-parent-center-network/“
Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waiver
*Because of military family mobility, including when retiring from the military, retaining a place on a HCBS Waiver wait list may be challenging. Some states have made legislative changes to help military families retain earned priority to receive HCBS Waivers (Military State Policy Source status tracker from Military OneSource). Learn about the military waiver benefit at Military OneSource.
Family to Family Health Information Centers –these may be programs in a state’s parent center(s)
Parent2Parent: direct, one-on-one trained support from other parents in your family’s situation, and support groups. Sometimes located in parent centers.
|Children’s Benefits: |
or Active Reserve
(retiring after 20 yrs service)
|Equivalent Civilian Resources|
|TRICARE medical coverage (may include case management, mental health, hospice care||Yes, but there may be extra costs||Private insurance (useful article at the Military Wallet website|
|TRICARE for children after age 21, up to age 26 (including college students)||Yes||Private insurance (useful article at the Military Wallet website|
|TRICARE after age 26 through secondary dependency||Yes||Medicaid|
Supplemental Security Income(SSI) -in some states, receiving SSI helps determine Medicaid eligibility
|ABA services through Tricare’s Autism Demo Project||Yes, but only if the service member retires, as opposed to leaving the military prior to fulfilling the terms of service for retirement. If the service member leaves without retiring, try the resources in the right-hand column.||Medicaid|
Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waiver
Autism resource by state (Easter Seals)
State agencies on Developmental or Intellectual Disabilities
|Extended Care Health Option (ECHO) provides supplemental support services not available through Tricare’s regular coverage. Some benefits similar to Medicaid HCBS waivers||No||Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waiver|
|Respite care through ECHO and other programs|
No, but check with the community family center at a local installation to identify any military-family support organizations which may offer funding or locator services.
|Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waiver|
|Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) Family Support (help with navigating military and some civilian systems||Yes, at the discretion of each installation’s EFMP Family Support office||Parent Centers|
|Military child care benefits||No||Private: not subsidized but can use the directory: ChildCareAware.org|
If a family has income restrictions, many states have subsidized care through Dept. of Health and Human services, or equivalent
|School Liaison office for help navigating school systems and services. Helps families use MIC3 (Interstate Compact)||Parent Centers|
|Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children (MIC3)||Children are covered by the provisions of the Compact for one year after service member retires.|
|Free Tutoring from Tutor.com||No||Commercial tutoring or through school|
University Centers of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) and Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) programs
Parent centers already refer families to UCEDDs and LEND programs or otherwise have relationships with them, serving on advisory boards and collaborating on partnerships. Here are three reasons for specifically informing military families about these programs and suggestions for outreach:
Who and how to contact for access, processes, and documents needed-check it out!Continue reading “Get Installation Access for Events, Parent Trainings, and Individual Assistance”
image credit-Sesame Workshop
Sesame Workshop has released a new set of resources, Family Caregiving, for military and other families dealing with the “new normal” of caring for an ill or injured family member. Resources are developed from solid evidence-based research.Continue reading “Family Caregiving at Sesame Street in Communities”
Good Reasons for Intentional Outreach
- Many National Guard families are new veteran families who were recently on full-time active service and may be new to your community and to non-military services for individuals with disabilities
- Some National Guard are actually full-time military and move from state-to-state for duty
- For many National Guard families, their commitment to the military and its mission is much more than a part-time job. Like active-duty families, they turn mostly to the military for information and support:
Handouts can be branded with your Parent Center’s logo, contact information, edited for state specifics, etc. Download the handouts directly from each article in the website.
The Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRPs) relies on medical consumers, their families, and caregivers to provide direction on which research is most likely to benefit people like themselves. Parent center staff and volunteers, military-connected family members and civilian family members may be eligible to join review panels that decide which research on their disease, injury or condition will get funding from Congress. According to previous participants, it’s an amazing way to help others in similar situations.Continue reading “Help Decide the Course of Medical Research-Benefits for Your Center and Families You Serve”
Many parent center staff, even those who often work with military-connected families, contact the Branch team with questions about how things work in the military system.
Here are some examples of questions we’ve received—you may have similar questions. While you are free to contact us, many answers can be found in the resources on our website, such as the resources listed below. You can also find answers by going to branchta.org and entering the topic in the search area.
K-12 and Post-Secondary
- “A military family I’m helping is having difficulty getting their child’s records transferred-who can they talk to?”
- “The new school is insisting the student take an alternate exit exam due to her disability, which will prevent her from getting a regular diploma. The family is active duty military—is there anything to help?”
In helping new veterans’ families navigate civilian services and systems, the Branch highlighted situations where parent centers can make a crucial difference. New veterans’ families are those whose service member has recently transitioned to civilian life. They may be new residents or have lived for years in your state but are now new to all its resources as civilians and parents of a child with a disability. These families may have always used military-provided supports and services and may not even know parent centers exist.
How will veterans’ families know about your parent center?Continue reading “Find Partners for Outreach to Veterans’ Families”