ECHO provides supplemental services and supplies to active duty families* who have a child (or other family member) with disabilities. “Supplemental” means that the service is in addition to, and not part of your family’s TRICARE benefits.

Services and supplies may include:

  • Assistive services (such as interpretation, translation)
  • Durable equipment
  • Expanded in-home services (only in U.S., District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands)
  • Training in the use of special education and assistive technology devices
  • Rehabilitative services
  •  Respite care (number of hours available depends on whether the beneficiary uses ECHO Home Health Care) -only available in U.S., District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Institutional/residential care when required
  • Transportation to and from institutions or facilities (restrictions apply)

Your child may qualify for ECHO benefits if they experience:

  • Moderate or severe intellectual disability
  • Serious physical disability
  • Any other serious disability that creates a significant impairment in a major life activity
  • A condition that causes your child to be homebound
  • A condition in an infant that will lead to (“precedes”) a diagnosis of physical or intellectual disability
  • Two or more disabilities affecting separate body systems

To apply for ECHO benefits, your child should be:

  • Registered in DEERS (Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System)
  • A TRICARE beneficiary
  • Enrolled in the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP)
  • If your child isn’t enrolled, ask your Parent Training and Information Center (PTI) or installation EFMP support contact for information on how to enroll
  • Enrollment in EFMP may not be necessary under certain conditions-contact your TRICARE Regional Contractor for information:

Apply through your TRICARE Regional Contractor:

* “Active duty families” include Families of active-duty (full-time) military personnel (“sponsors”)

  • Family members of activated National Guard/Reserve members
  • Family members covered under a Transitional Assistance Management Program, which provides benefits while a service member transitions to civilian life
  • Children or spouses of former service members who qualify for the Transitional Compensation Program which provides benefits for certain cases of abuse
  • Family members of deceased active duty members considered “transitional survivors”. The transitional period lasts three years for a spouse; children remain beneficiaries until they age out of TRICARE eligibility (age 21 or age 23 if enrolled in a full-time course of study at an approved institution of higher learning and if the sponsor provides over 50 percent of the financial support).