As we know, and research shows, “military parents of children with disabilities experience additional stress compared to those military parents with typically developing children. This can be attributed to the increase in time and resources that are needed in the daily care of a child with a disability” (Russo & Fallon, 2001).
We know how hard you work to provide in-person and virtual training, and information for parents. According to the Center for Parent Information and Resources, Parent Centers achieved more than 1 million contacts, just through trainings and individual assistance. This number is in addition to the millions of website visits and resource dissemination numbers that were accomplished. Most importantly, at least 90% of those surveyed found that programs and services met their needs, helped them understand how to get their child’s needs met, and that they were able to put the information to use.
The Military Health System (MHS) is making changes to TRICARE, the entitlement program that provides health care to the uniformed military service members and their families in the US and abroad. Military families who have children with disabilities may encounter changes that affect their children’s providers and services. Here’s our updates:
Did you know that the adult-aged child of an active duty or retired service member may qualify to retain their military medical benefits and other base privileges after age 21 if they meet the following criteria? The adult child, also referred to as the “Incapacitated Adult Child” must be
- Incapable of providing his or her own support
- Dependent on the sponsor (military parent) for at least 50 percent of his or her support (if the sponsor is deceased, the child must have received over 50 percent of his or her support from the sponsor at the time of death)
- Incapacitation must have occurred prior to age 21 or age 23 if the adult child is enrolled as a full-time student
- Unmarried—if the child marries and subsequently becomes unmarried due to divorce, annulment, or the death of the spouse, the sponsor is able to apply for reinstatement of the child’s benefits and entitlements as long as the adult child meets all other requirements.
We’ve created a guide to our most useful materials on military families: their culture, their unique needs, and the military systems that support them when they have a child with a disability. There is something for every staff member, from those with lengthy experience working with military families to those just starting out. AND-links to parent handouts, including 3 handouts you can brand with your Parent Center logo!
Parent Center staff are knowledgeable about State and local legal resources for families, but military families have unique circumstances that can call for out-of-state or specialized assistance. For example, when they move to a new duty station, they may need to find a lawyer in the State to which they are moving to help them establish a new guardianship for an adult child with disabilities. Fortunately there is an online resource from the American Bar Association: ABA Home Front, created to help military families get legal assistance both on and off the installation.
As Parent Center staff, you realize how important networking opportunities can be in helping your own family or the families you work with. Military families, with their highly mobile life, can benefit from using Social Media to network and find out about a new location and supports available for their children with special needs. Social Media is a valuable tool to help military families get and stay connected to an ever changing environment, available services and resources.
To open a map, find the “Maps” tab below the logo area on our website, branchta.org. Hover over the tab to select your region’s map from the drop-down menu, or click on the tab to see a page of direct links to the regional maps.
View our new video “How to Use the Interactive Maps” that outlines easy-to-use outreach with installations in your State. We’ve also included a number of related and useful resources for you. You’ll find them right below the video!
Counselors can work with children who have special medical or educational needs, especially when those needs result in behavioral challenges. Learn about what this free, valuable resource can do for the military families you help.