A guide to finding civilian supports and services when your service member separates or retires from the military if you have a child (including an adult dependent child) with disabilities. If you are PCSing to a “forever” home location, it 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 with disabilities. If you are reading this article through the website for PAVE (*******) or through their Pipeline newsletter, you are in the right place because PAVE is the Parent Training and Information Center (Parent Center) for Washington State.
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/ “
- Go directly to PAVE’s assistance request page (Washington State)
- 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.
- University Centers of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) and Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) programs
- Autism resources by State (Easter Seals)
- State Agencies on Developmental or Intellectual Disabilities
- Parent Centers in other states
- Early Intervention programs for each State: ages birth to three, Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP)
- Family to Family Health Information Centers –PAVE houses Washington’s Family to Family Health Information Center
- Parent2Parent: direct, one-on-one trained support from other parents in your family’s situation, and support groups. Sometimes located in parent centers. PAVE is home to Pierce Co. Parent2Parent (WA).
Children’s Benefits or Services
or Active Reserve
Keep Benefit or Service?
(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 financial costs
TRICARE for children after age 21, up to age 26 (including college students)
Yes-up to age 23 if in college (or up to graduation); after which and up to age 26, child may be eligible for TRICARE Young Adult, which charges premiums, has co-pays and deductibles.
TRICARE benefits after age 26 through secondary dependency
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 NOTE: your child can be enrolled in both Medicaid and TRICARE
Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waiver * NOTE: your child can be enrolled in both Medicaid and TRICARE
Extended Care Health Option (ECHO) provides supplemental support and services not available through TRICARE’s regular coverage. Some benefits similar to Medicaid HCBS waivers
Medicaid HCBS Waiver * NOTE: your child can be enrolled in both Medicaid and TRICARE
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.
Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) Family Support (help with navigating military and some civilian service systems)
Yes, at the discretion of installation
Private: not subsidized, but can use the directory: ChildCareAware.org. If a family has income restrictions, many States have subsidized care through Department of Health and Human Services (or equivalent)