An Air Force reassignment program might be able to help airmen whose families are experiencing a long distance crises. If they qualify, those troops can use the program for an extra military move or to stay at their current location.
The Humanitarian Reassignment and Deferment Program, run by the Air Force Personnel Center, assists active-duty airmen in resolving severe, short-term problems involving a family member while airmen continue to meet the needs of the Air Force.
"The spirit and intent of the program is to place the airman at the closest location to where the problem exists," said Kimberly Schuler, Humanitarian Assignment Policy chief. "Typically, a reassignment or deferment is a one-time action to resolve a critical problem with a family member within a reasonable period of time, normally 12 months."
The definition of "family member" for the Humanitarian Program is limited to spouse; child; parents, to include in-laws and stepparents; person in loco parentis; or other persons actually residing in the household who are dependent on the airman for more than half of their financial support.
"We often get asked about siblings," Schuler said. "That's always a tough one because siblings aren't within the scope of the definition of 'family member.' However, if the sibling is terminally ill, we'll look at the request as an exception to policy."
In a case that requires a long-term solution, an airman would have to look at other options, she said.
"The Humanitarian Program is a temporary solution to a short-term problem and the Air Force is unable to consider a permanent or prolonged deferment."
The comptroller general has ruled that the Air Force cannot make moves at government expense based solely on humanitarian reasons. The reassignment or deferment must be to meet Air Force mission needs in addition to helping the airman. Therefore, a valid vacancy must exist at the gaining base and the airman must meet retainability requirements for a permanent change of station.
Schuler's team in AFPC's Military Assignment Programs Branch, along with a team of six case managers in the Assignment Support Section and 11 Total Force Service Center Assignment technicians processes approximately 1,000 requests annually to expedite assistance to airmen in need.
Humanitarian reassignment or deferment is not limited to a single reason. Circumstances can include the terminal illness of a family member, the death of an airman's spouse or child, the sexual assault of the airman's spouse or child, or issues involving a serious financial impact such as the loss of property through fire or natural disaster.
"The reason doesn't have to fit into a box," Schuler said.
In each situation, the AFPC Medical Review Board or the AFPC Administrative Law Office reviews requests for verification of clinical data submitted with an application or for the verification of legal documentation. Careful consideration goes into the adjudication of each request, as these airmen are normally in a crisis and deserve the most compassionate eyes possible on their situation.
"It's not just personnelists making the decision," Schuler said. "It's a whole system of checks and balances. The entire team looks at the whole-person concept. We look at each situation as if we were in that airman's shoes and view the circumstances with empathy and kindness."
Missing documentation can delay the process, which is normally about two to four weeks. Schuler said the more supporting documentation the airman can provide about every aspect of the situation, the better, as it paints a clearer picture of the scope of the problem. Burden of proof is on the member to prove that their situation is more than what an average airman is going through.
"Everyone has a tipping point, so we weigh everything--everything--happening in that airman's life to determine the best course of action," she said.
Currently, 2,916 airmen are directly benefiting from humanitarian assignments at bases across the Air Force. However, if the airman's application does not meet the threshold for an approval under the Humanitarian Program, the case managers take the extra step to research if the airman may be eligible for another alternative assignment option.
"Perhaps the airman can apply for a Base of Preference or a follow-on assignment," Schuler said. "Or maybe they don't meet the requirements right now, but if something changes, they can reapply. We try to manage their expectations and provide resources instead of just simply saying, 'Denied.'"
Schuler's team is also working on improvements to the application process to make it more intuitive. Two efficiencies they would like to implement include a "delivery" status bar, visible to customers in the virtual Military Personnel Flight, and a defined set of statuses with detailed explanations of the application process.
To help airmen navigate those resources, Schuler's team hosts recurring webcasts on the Humanitarian Reassignment and Deferment Program. The next webinar for all airman is scheduled for Sept. 27, 2017 at 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Central Daylight Time.
Additionally, airmen can chat with a personnel specialist live on myPers about the humanitarian program between the hours of 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. CDT. To access the chat feature, click on the Humanitarian/EFMP link under "Assignment Programs" on the active-duty myPers Assignment landing page, hover the mouse cursor for 30 seconds and a chat window will appear.
For more information about Air Force personnel programs, visit myPers. Individuals who do not have a myPers account can request one by following the instructions on the Air Force's Personnel Center website.
Military.com contributed to this article.Show Full Article
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Presentation on theme: "Humanitarian / Exceptional Family Member Program Assignment Actions"— Presentation transcript:
1 Humanitarian / Exceptional Family Member Program Assignment Actions
Ms. Lori SurgnierHQ AFPC
2 Overview Programs Governing Policies
Purpose of AF Humanitarian ProgramHumanitarian Approval / Disapproval ReasonsPurpose of the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP)EFMP Notes of InterestsPoints of Contact and References
3 OverviewPublic Law Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 1975Public Law "Defense Dependents" Education Act of 19782008 NDAA Section 587: Education and Treatment Services for Military Dependent Children with AutismDODD Military Personnel Assignments 2005DODI Procedures for Military Personnel Assignments 2005DODI Authorizing Special Needs Family Members Travel Overseas at Government Expense 2005DODI Provision of Early Intervention and Special Education Services to Eligible DOD Dependents 2005DODI Family Care Plans 1992AFI Assignments, Attachments 24 &
4 Purpose of Humanitarian Program
Help resolve a severe, short-term problem involving an immediate family member; who is a family member?How do we help?Deferment from reassignment / TDY (initial 12 months)Reassignment (initial 12 months restriction from DAS)Assign Airman to the location closest to the family member, consistent with effective utilization.Generally, Special Duty Assignment not an option due to involved selection process; retraining / cross-flow is considered if required and viable.Eligibility Criteria:Authorization must exist at projected location and Airman must have or obtain retainability.Problem more severe than usually encountered by other Airmen in similar situations.Airman’s presence essential to alleviate problemResolution within months (24 months if terminally ill)
5 Humanitarian Cases Normally Approved
Recent death of spouse or child (within last 12 months)Terminal illness of family member (prognosis 24 months or less)Complete adoption (once child is in home)Serious financial problem through no fault of the AirmanLoss of possessions due to natural disaster / theft / fireFamily Advocacy program (FAP) (AFI , 2005)Only in this instance can a commander request a humanitarian reassignment / defermentBasis is to continue or obtain treatment for FAP issuesRequest fully documented and endorsed by local FAP officerSexual assault / harassment (also applies to AD members)
6 Humanitarian Cases Normally Disapproved
Chronic illness of parents and / or in-lawsProblems associated with child-care arrangements due to lack of documented family care plan as required by AFI , Family Care PlansSettling estatesThreatened separation or divorce; includes pursuit of child custodyExistence of home ownership problemsFinancial problems including bankruptcy resulting from over-extension of military incomeSole purpose of seeking / providing extended family supportProblems due to spouse’s employment or private business activities
7 Purpose of Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP)
Designed to help family members with special needs meeting DoD criteria for EFMP enrollment; needs are usually permanent or long termHow do we help?Assign Airmen, based on manning needs, to locations where the required educational resources are available, or the medical care is available through either military treatment facility (MTF), TRICARE providers, or combination thereofProvide initial 12-month deferment for newly diagnosed condition when the Airman’s presence is essential in establishing / participating in treatment programOnce treatment program is established, Airman is then considered worldwide available
8 Purpose of EFMP (Continued)
EFMP Eligibility Criteria: (at least one criterion must be met)Care unavailable at current assignment locationNewly diagnosed condition identified when Airman’s presence essentialThe Airman’s presence is essential in establishing, participating in, or continuing a medical regimen or educational program in the present assignment areaFamily member denied travel to projected assignment locationCare is verified by local base MTF through the Special Needs Coordinator (SNC) and Chief of Medical Staff confirmationAirmen identified in Military Personnel Data System via update of assignment limitation code (ALC) “Q” by servicing MPS
9 Notes of Interest for EFMP
EFMP is not a Base of Preference programAirman’s preferences always considered, but AF manning needs and care availability must support reassignmentLocation cannot be based solely on the Airman’s desire for extended family supportDocumented Family Care Plan, required by DODI and AFI , Family Care Plans, when spouse is unable to manage household in Airman’s absence due to “unique family situations.”Cannot manage due to medical / emotional problemsCC / First Sergeant support a must in these circumstances
10 Humanitarian / EFMP Considerations
AF personnel must remain able to respond to contingenciesMaintain equitable distribution of overseas assignmentsPermanent or prolonged deferment from reassignment not compatible with AF careerHardship discharge / retirement may be more appropriate in some situations
11 Common Misconceptions
“Having a “Q” code means never having to be separated from my family”ALC “Q” is an indicator that a family member has special needs. It requires a check to ensure the availability of required services at any accompanied assignment location“My commander recommended approval so my request will be approved”DPAPPH is final decision authority – consistent decisions for all AF personnel
12 Take Aways, Points of Contact, References
When special circumstances exist, the AF Humanitarian and Exceptional Family Member Programs assistApplication process for both programs begins in vMPFPoints of Contact:Total Force Service Center-San AntonioDSN: , Commercial:Toll Free:AFPC/DPAPPH, Humanitarian and EFMP Assignments SectionDSN: , Commercial:References:Personnel Services Delivery Guide located on AFPC website and vMPFAFI , Attachments 24 & 25
13 Air Force Personnel Center