New Limits on Marine Corps EFMP Respite Care Program

For military families with a special needs family member, the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) Respite Care program can offer a welcome break from the stress of caring for an ill or disabled loved one. For this reason, our Association is concerned by a recent announcement by the Marine Corps regarding upcoming changes to its EFMP Respite Care. The new policy, which will take effect October 1, places limits on both which family members are eligible to receive reimbursement for respite care and the number of respite care hours provided. These changes will significantly reduce the number of Marine Corps families eligible to receive reimbursement for much-needed respite care.

Under the new policy, only family members classified at Level of Need (LoN) 3 and 4 will be eligible to receive reimbursement for respite care. Individuals classified at LoN 1 or 2 will no longer be eligible. Level of Need is determined when families enroll in the EFMP. Marine Corps EFMP families can learn their family member’s LoN and find out whether they will be affected by the policy change by checking with their installation EFMP Family Case Worker.

In addition, siblings of EFMPs and children of adult EFMPs will no longer be eligible for the program. Finally, the number of respite care hours will be reduced from 40 hours per month to 20.

Military families should know that each Service has its own EFMP Respite Care, with different eligibility requirements. This difference is often a source of confusion and frustration for families, and we urge the Services to standardize this vital program. Army families can visit Army OneSource for more information about the Army’s EFMP Respite Care. For information about Navy and Air Force EFMP Respite Care, families can check with Child Care Aware.

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