Saturday, February 1, 2014

Life As An Army Wife: Getting Cleared for EFMP (Moving Overseas)

EFMP stands for "Exceptional Family Member Program". It's a program designed to assist family members of soldiers who may have special needs. It is a mandatory enrollment program. Not optional. The thing is, special needs is not really an adequate word. It covers some of the following diagnoses:
  • Asthma
  • Autism
  • ADHD/ADD
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid problems
  • Cancer
  • diagnoses requiring equipment (Oxygen, wheelchair, orthotics, hearing aids, etc...)
  • Premie babies
  • Vision issues
  • And more!
There are many conditions not mentioned here. I am NOT an EFMP specialist. These are just a few of the things I found while researching this post. I was trying to get cleared at Fort Huachuca, AZ specifically.

"The Army designed the EFMP to be a comprehensive, coordinated, multi-agency program that provides community support, housing, medical, educational, and personnel services to military Families with an EFM." I got a lot of information here.

When PCSing overseas each member of the family has to be cleared. I believe each process is different because that's how the Army rolls. I'll tell you how mine went so you can get the general idea.

So after David went to the levy brief he was given a lot of forms and a lot of information. I'm going to give you a numbered list because that's what I wish someone would have done for me. These are the steps I would take (in order of importance)

1) Make sure everyone has had a physical in the last 12 months.
2) If you have already had those appointments and they were NOT done at an Army-approved medical center, request copies from the place they were completed. Have them sent to the EFMP coordinator at your local installation (that sounds fancy the way I said it huh?).
3) Complete the following forms:
  1. The one that sticks out to me is this one: DA FORM 5888. (Family Member Deployment Screening Sheet) This is the one that gave us the most grief (surprising).
  2. DA FORM 2792 (EFMP Medical Summary). It's long.
  3. DA FORM 7246 (EFMP Screening Questionnaire).
Seriously. Do them all of them at the same time. Easier. Then when you go into talk to someone, you'll be armed and ready.

I found this picture on the Army website. This is NOT how we did it.



MPD = Military personnel Division

MTF = Military Treatment Facility

EFMP Practitioner at Fort Huachuca = Mrs. Register. Her phone number is 520-533-9035. The frustrating part is there is a sucky phone system at Fort Huachuca. Apparently they are a little behind the times because I have yet to come in contact with an answering machine system.
Let me tell you about this. It sucks. Lezbehonest.

So after he went to the levy brief, we attempted to schedule a physical for me since I was the only one out of the 4 of us (me and the kids) who hadn't had one recently. Because we were recently enrolled in TRICARE, the insurance didn't start until February. This was back in January. So when I called the appointment line at Fort Huachuca ((520)533-9200 / 1-877-856-2821 ), I was told I couldn't. I just couldn't. I wasn't in the system, blah blah. So David had to call the Patient Advocate line (520-533-2313) just to get an appointment. Apparently It was a big deal. Whatever. 

I had my appointment, also had to have blood drawn before any paperwork could be submitted. You see how this is a little bit of an annoyance here?

Not the EFMP program itself, it acutally is a really great program. But figuring it out can be really difficult confusing.

The first thing David did to get informed was to go to a levy brief.

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