FORT LEE, Va. (April 27, 2017) -- A common misconception concerning the Exceptional Family Member Program is that enrollment by individuals it’s meant to serve is optional.

The EFMP was created to ensure appropriate Army-sponsored support for its clients. Per Army Regulation 608-75, enrollment in the program is mandatory for any active duty Soldier with a dependent who meets medical or educational special needs criteria. Those who fail to comply with the enrollment requirements could be subject to Uniform Code of Military Justice action if deemed necessary by their chain of command.

Medical EFMP enrollment is accomplished by submitting DA Form 2792. The service member completes pages 1-3, and the family care medical provider is responsible for pages 4-11.

The document is then turned in to the EFMP office on the second floor of Kenner Army Health Clinic to be processed and forwarded to Fort Belvoir for registration in the program database.

The rule of thumb for enrollment is anyone who has a chronic medical condition of any kind that requires treatment, either through medication or therapy, more than once a year should be considered for the program. Mental health conditions are equally considered. If the dependent takes medication for depression or anxiety, for example, or has been diagnosed with obsessive compulsive or attention deficit disorder for more than six months, he or she needs to be enrolled,

Another frequently asked question relates to family members with asthma. These individuals do not need to be enrolled if they just use albuterol once in a while for mild wheezing or cough. However, if they have been treated at an emergency room or admitted to the hospital for asthma in the past year, or use a daily inhaled steroid, those individuals will need to be enrolled.

Also, if family members have ordinary pollen allergies, they do not need to be enrolled, but if they have allergies so bad it requires shots to counteract symptoms, they will need to be enrolled. The best course of action for individuals who are unsure about enrollment is to check with the EFMP office where the staff can provide guidance and clarify the choices if enrollment is necessary.

Educational EFMP enrollment is accomplished by submitting DA Form 2792-1 in which the service member completes page 2 and school officials are responsible for page 3. Any child who has an Individual Family Service Plan or an Individual Education Plan through school will need to be enrolled. Children who have a 504 plan do not need to be enrolled.

EFMP educational services include assignment coordination and eligibility for certain programs not otherwise available such as Army Community Service Navigators, School Liaison, and Tricare ECHO. Once the form 2792-1 is completed, the school will need to attach a copy of the IFSP/IEP document to the packet, and then the service member submits all paperwork to the EFMP office for processing and forwarding to Fort Belvoir for data entry into the EFMP system.

Only active duty service members are eligible for EFMP. Remember, if both parents are active duty, the dependent child’s enrollment status will need to be annotated in both of the service member’s personnel records.

EFMP enrollments are valid for three years, so sponsors should mark their calendar with a reminder to renew their file. Individuals also will receive update reminders through the ORB/ERB system. If the EFMP packet expires, the human resource file for the service member locks and he or she is no longer eligible for promotion, transfer, awards or re-enlistment until the file is updated.

The bottom line is to be proactive to avoid complications. Update early so it doesn’t impact military requirements.

For further information, call the EFMP Medical Office at (804) 734-9130.