6 WAYS TO LEAN ON YOUR MILITARY COMMUNITY TO SETTLE INTO YOUR NEW HOME FASTER
After months of planning your PCS, you've now landed at your new destination. Now it's time for the fun part – building a nest and making it home. Here are a few ways to tap into the military community so you can settle and get into the swing of things more quickly.
NOT ONLY SURVIVING, BUT THRIVING: Family readiness programs empower service members and family members with the support and information they need to thrive in their military lives. Each service branch has a family readiness program, but the names and resources available may differ.
1. CONNECT WITH A SPONSOR TO SEE HOW THE LOCALS LIVE
Before you PCS, do your best to get paired with a person at your new duty station who has a similar rank and family situation as you do to help show you the ropes. Sponsors are typically assigned through your unit. You also can request a sponsor through your local Relocation Assistance Program ( installations.militaryonesource.mil) or Military and Family Support Center ( militaryone- source.mil/moving-housing/moving/planning-your- move/seize-your-move-with-the-relocation-assistance program). A sponsor can be a friendly face with a wealth of personal experience who can make those critical first introductions, guide you to important resources and give you an insider's perspective of your new duty station and community. It's best to reach out to your sponsor before moving day.
2. WORK WITH A RELOCATION ASSISTANCE PROFESSIONAL TO GET REFERRALS TO OTHER SERVICES
A relocation assistance professional ( militaryonesource.mil/moving- housing/moving/planning-your-move/seize-your-movewith-the-relocation-assistance-program) can help you embrace your new home by offering one-on-one consultations on everything from setting a budget, providing resources for spouse employment and child care to stress management. Find a relocation specialist by selecting Relocation Assistance Program and your installation from the drop-down menu on MilitaryINSTALLATIONS ( installations.mil- itaryonesource.mil).
3. CHECK OUT ARMED SERVICES YMCA PROGRAMS FOR FAMILY BONDING OPPORTUNITIES AND MEETING NEW NEIGHBORS
Armed Services YMCA ( asymca.org) provides several programs designed to help military families – with a particular focus on helping junior enlisted service men and women – grow their networks of support. Operation Outdoors ( asymca.org/operation-outdoors) sponsors family, youth and teen camps at their 34 branches and affiliate locations. These meaningful experiences help families bond with other members of the military community while offering tools to cope with the unique challenges of military life. The Parent and Me education program ( asymca.org/parent-and-me) teaches strategies to help with early childhood development in a community of support where parents and children can learn from each other.
4. EXPLORE MORALE, WELFARE AND RECREATION ACTIVITIES TO HAVE FUN AND MEET NEW PEOPLE
Meet new people and connect with fellow military families as you hit the links, go bowling or play air hockey with your kids at the recreation center. As the military's network of support and leisure activities, the Morale, Welfare and Recreation program ( militaryone- source.mil/recreation-travel-shopping/recreation/single- life/morale-welfare-and-recreation-your-source-for-affordable-fun) sponsors a variety of activities. There's something for everyone to enjoy, both on and off on the installation. Take advantage of opportunities to relax, laugh and bond with your new neighbors.
5. JOIN A MILITARY SPOUSE NETWORKING GROUP TO "TALK JOBS" WITH OTHER SPOUSES.
For military spouses seeking employment at their new duty station, joining a networking group can be a great opportunity to meet fellow military spouses while advancing your career. Begin with the Military Spouse Employment Partnership spouse group on LinkedIn ( linkedin.com/groups/4159976) and the Spouse Ambassador Network, ( myseco.militaryonesource.mil/Portal/Content/View 1494) which is a group of organizations united to help military spouses achieve their education and career goals.
6. BENEFIT FROM YOUR FAMILY READINESS GROUP TO WIDEN YOUR NETWORK OF SUPPORT
Family readiness programs ( www .militaryonesource.mil/family- relationships/spouse/military-life-for-spouses/connectingto-the-community) empower service members and family members with the support and information they need to thrive in their military lives. You'll find intel on benefits and get connected to services and organizations that promote readiness and quality of life for you and your family. Each service branch has a family readiness program, but the names and resources available may differ. Special focus is given to helping families prepare for short- and long-term deployments and boosting unit morale. These groups host family-related unit activities, where families can meet and learn from fellow members of their military community.
Make your new destination home by connecting with your military community. Connecting helps you to get to your new normal faster.
MEDICAID FOR FAMILY MEMBERS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
Medicaid is a federal program that provides eligible military families with benefits beyond TRICARE. It covers basic health and long-term care services for eligible children, adults, pregnant women, individuals with disabilities and the elderly, and for families with low income and limited resources. This benefit may be available for military family members who have special needs and require medical care. Medicaid coverage and income restrictions vary from state to state ( medicaid.gov/medicaid/by-state/by-state.html).
States can offer a variety of medical and non-medical services ( medicaid.gov/medicaid/hcbs/authorities/1915-c/index.html) under a waiver program. Standard services include but are not limited to: case management (i.e. supports and service coordination); homemaker; home health aide; personal care; adult day health services; habilitation (both day and residential) and respite care. States can also propose other types of services that may assist in diverting and/or transitioning individuals from institutional settings into their homes and community. See Medicaid Waivers for Families With Special Needs Fact Sheet ( militaryone- source.mil/products#!/detail/192) or more information.
MEDICAID BENEFITS FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES
Medicaid-eligible individuals with disabilities are entitled to all medically-necessary services. Individual states establish and administer their own Medicaid programs and determine the type, amount, duration and scope of services, within broad federal guidelines. Each state is required to cover certain mandatory benefits and can choose to provide other optional benefits through the Medicaid program. Mandatory benefits include:
- • Hospital, home health, clinic and laboratory services. Benefits include coverage for inpatient and outpatient hospital, home health, physician, certified pediatric and family nurse practitioner, rural health clinic, federally qualified health center, and laboratory and X-ray services.
- • Early and periodic screening, diagnostic and treatment services. This benefit provides comprehensive and preventive health care services for Medicaid-enrolled children under age 21. These services are key to ensuring children and adolescents receive appropriate preventive, dental, mental health, developmental and specialty care.
- • Nursing facility services. Nursing facility services, through Medicaid-certified nursing homes, provide three types of services: skilled nursing or medical care and relat ed services; rehabilitation needed due to injury, disability or illness; and long-term care.
- • Transportation. Mandatory benefits include transportation for medical care.
- • Optional benefits. Depending on state guidelines, benefits could include coverage for: prescription drugs; physical and occupational therapy; speech, hearing and language disorder services; respiratory care services; other diagnostic, screening, preventive and rehabilitative services; and services in an intermediate care facility for the mentally impaired.
HOW TO APPLY FOR MEDICAID AS A SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME RECIPIENT
Supplemental Security Income recipients should apply at the local Social Security office. To find the nearest office, enter your ZIP code using the Social Security Office Locator ( secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp). When applying for Medicaid, you may need to bring the following:
- • Proof of income, such as check stubs
- • Proof of assets, such as bank statements, value of car, etc.
- • Social Security card
- • Two forms of identification, which can include your military ID or other photo ID, and your driver's license, birth certificate, etc.
- • Proof of residence such as a utility bill, telephone bill or a rent receipt Contact your Social Security office to determine which documents you'll need to apply.
WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION
- • Review more information on the general Medicaid ( medicaid.gov) program with links to Medicaid information by state ( medicaid.gov/Medicaid-CHIP-Program-Information/By-State/By-State.html).
- • Learn more about benefits for family members with special needs ( militaryonesource.mil/special-needs-benefits).
- • Read more about the Exceptional Family Member Program ( download.militaryonesource.mil/12038/MOS/Brochures/EFMP-Brochure.pdf).
- • Find more information through the Military OneSource eLearning module on government assistance (download.military onesource.mil/12038/EFMP/eLearning/Government%20Assistance/Government%20As sistance/Government_Assistance%28web%29/player.html).
- • Access everything you need to know about Social Security Disability Insurance ( militaryonesource.mil/-/what-is-social-security- disability-insurance-).