WARRIOR CARE PROGRAM (CARE COALITION) FAQs

What is USSOCOM?

The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM or SOCOM) is a Unified Combatant Command that oversees Special Operations Forces from the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps. The command is part of the Department of Defense.  USSOCOM is headquartered at MacDill AFB in Tampa.

 

What does "Special Operations Forces" mean?

Special Operations Forces are comprised of military service members who have been selected to receive special training and are assigned to special units. Examples include Army Rangers; Army Special Forces, known as Green Berets; Navy SEALs; Marine Special Operations; and Air Force Special Operations. SOF service members are located at military installations and medical facilities throughout the country.

 

What is the USSOCOM Warrior Care Program (Care Coalition)?

The USSOCOM Warrior Care Program (Care Coalition) is a congressionally recognized Warrior Care Program, providing non-medical advocacy and assistance to wounded, ill, and injured Special Operations Forces (SOF) service members and their families.  The Care Coalition was founded as a USSOCOM Commander's program under General (Ret.) Doug Brown in 2003.


 Why does USSOCOM need the Care Coalition?

•USSOCOM cannot afford a conventional attrition rate because of the required investment of time and resources in the production of SOF.  This is expressed in the long-standing SOF truths: humans are more important than hardware and SOF cannot be mass produced.

•The Care Coalition was founded in 2005 by Gen. Brown to fill the gaps in the non-clinical care for SOF wounded, ill, and injured.

•The welfare of our service members and their families is paramount to SOF readiness and our ability to accomplish the mission.

•We have fostered relationships with outside sources (non-profits, private companies) to bridge gaps in care and services provided to our SOF wounded, ill, and injured.

•Our RCCs have the trust of the recovering Service Members and their families, and maintain contact to ensure they are receiving optimal care.


 How is the Care Coalition different from the Service Wounded Warrior Programs?

We focus on a specialized group of wounded, ill, and injured Service embers and their families. With a smaller target population, we are able to assist SOF wounded, ill, and injured during their recovery, rehabilitation, reintegration, and transition. Our primary goal is to assist SOF wounded, ill, and injured in getting back to duty, operationally fit and mentally prepared.  If the Wounded Warrior is not able to return to active duty, we assist in the transition of the Wounded Warrior and his/her family to civilian life. We leverage both government, private and community programs to support this mission. 
 

In what way does the Care Coalition provide advocacy to SOF Wounded, Ill, and Injured?

The USSOCOM Care Coalition RCCs provide SOF wounded, ill, and injured comprehensive non-medical case management to include assistance with Department of Defense and other government benefits, family program assistance, medical referral management, TRICARE assistance, navigation through the IDES process, referrals to the Department of Veterans Affairs, referrals to internal and external Wounded Warrior programs (i.e. USSOCOM MASP, transition, the Service Wounded Warrior Programs), and other federal and non-federal programs.

 

What transition assistance does the Care Coalition provide?

•The transition program rests on four pillars: community outreach, fellowships, employment assistance, and retraining/educations.

•The transition team cultivates a network of civilian and government organizations through continuous community outreach to establish a wide net of opportunities for possible fellowship sponsorship, employment assistance and retraining/education options for our SOF wounded, ill, and injured.

•For those in IDES, the fellowship program provides SOF wounded, ill, and injured Warriors an opportunity to immerse themselves in the daily operations of a sponsoring organization prior to the service members' separation from the service. Through fellowships, SOF wounded, ill, and injured Warriors gain familiarity with the requirement of an employment opportunity to ascertain where their interests lie prior to making a long-term commitment.  Fellowships also enhance their technical skills and business knowledge, while preparing them for civilian employment.

•The employment assistance program introduces SOF wounded, ill, and injured Warriors to a network of identified employers who have expressed an interest in hiring SOF service members. The participating organizations benefit from the access to talented, experienced, and dedicated candidates.

•Retraining opportunities allow SOF wounded, ill, and injured Warriors to enhance their skills, train in new career fields, or gain certification to become more marketable in the civilian sector. This program is mutually beneficial to the SOF wounded, ill, and injured Warriors and the sponsoring organization in which the Wounded Warrior conducts his or her retraining, fellowship, and/or employment.


 How is Military Adaptive Sports (MAS) beneficial for USSOCOM?

MAS assists in both the physical and mental recovery processes, and works to improve the overall health and welfare of SOF wounded, ill, and injured through exposure to adaptive team sport and activities.   USSOCOM MAS directly supports the Department of Defense MAS, which includes the yearly Warrior Games and other inter-service Wounded Warrior events.  MAS provides post-rehabilitation support to wounded, ill, and injured SOF service members, through participation in adaptive rehabilitation and sporting activities, while promoting physical fitness, peer-to-peer support, and healthy/sustainable living with a focus on returning SOF wounded, ill, and injured to duty.  All SOF, regardless of impairments, injuries, and skill levels, are encouraged to participate.

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RECOVERY CARE COORDINATION FAQs

Why does a Service Member need a Comprehensive Recovery Plan (CRP)?

The recovery mission can be challenging. A CRP helps to provide order in chaos—it maps out goals, including whether the Service Member wants to return to duty or transition to civilian life. The CRP ultimately sets up Service Member and their family for success.

Are all CRPs alike?

No.  Just as everyone's wounds, family circumstances, and self-perceptions are different—everyone's CRP must be tailored for their individual situation.

How is a CRP developed? Who helps?

First and foremost the CRP is the Service Member's document. It is created with the help of the recovery team but the goals are expressed in the Service Member's own words.
As early as possible in the recovery process, the RCC will conduct a comprehensive needs assessment. The information derived from the needs assessment becomes the foundation for the CRP.
The RCC researches and provides the best available resources to help the Service Member and family achieve their goals. Together, the RCC and the Service Member set a timeline for completion for each step; the RCC and Section Leader track the status of each step.
The RCC works with the Service Member's Section Leader and other recovery team members to ensure that all needs are identified and their goals do not conflict with other recovery efforts.

Who sees a CRP?

CRPs are created and updated by RCCs in a secure DoD computer system. Section Leaders and care team members will also be aware of the Service Member's goals to prevent conflicts with recovery efforts.  Recovery team members can request viewing rights, or the RCC will provide copies of the CRP to members periodically.

When can a Service Member see their CRP? Can they update it?

While a Service Member cannot access the DoD computer system and CRP directly, RCCs use the CRP routinely in discussions with the Service Member and can provide a copy to the Service Member and family at any time.

Are the Service Members stuck with their CRP? What if their goals change?

The CRP is a living document and is written in the Service Members own words. The RCC is proactive with monitoring for potential roadblocks and identifying emergent needs for prompt action.
As the Service member recovers—their goals may evolve. The RCC guides the Service Member to amend the CRP accordingly.

How are CRPs measured / tracked?

RCCs do not "fire and forget."  Once a Service Member has been referred to a service or resource, the RCC and Section Leader will follow up to ensure that the effort was fully successful.  If not, the RCC will intervene with the resource and / or work with the Section Leader to advocate for the Service Member.  Many of the resources available to our Service Members come from sources external to the WCP. As a result, it is imperative that the RCC, Section Leader, and other recovery team members facilitate a collaborative working relationship with entities outside the regiment to ensure effective support of our Service Members and their families.

    What is the IDES process?

The Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES) is a process used by the military and the Department of Veterans Affairs to determine if wounded, ill, and injured service members can continue serving in the military or if they need to be medically separated.  If service members are found "unfit for duty," meaning they are no longer capable of serving in the military, they are medically separated from the military. The standard timeline of the IDES process is 295 days, but the actual length of time varies depending on each service member's unique circumstances.


How is an NMA authorized?
Once the attending physician determines a Service Member to be VSI or SI and they need one or more non-medical attendants, they work with the Service Member to determine who should be authorized Non Medical Attendant (NMA) orders. 

How is an advance obtained?
Advanced funds may be authorized for travelers on Invitational Travel Orders (ITOs) who require it. Advanced payments must be claimed on the travel voucher, and payment will be deducted from the final settlement.

How are travel expenses reimbursed?
A completed travel voucher, DD Form 1351-2 must be submitted. Include copies of the ITO or NMA orders and any receipts for expenses greater than $75.00 with the travel voucher. A final settlement voucher should be submitted within five days of the end of the ITO or NMA orders.

How could travel reimbursements be affected?
If the NMA lives in the vicinity of the treatment facility or the wounded, ill, or injured Service Member’s duty station, only mile-age will be reimbursed. If the person on ITO or NMA orders leaves the area (for example to check on children not in the area), their monthly reimbursement will be adjusted for the days not with the wounded, ill, or injured Service Member.  ITO and NMA reimbursements are paid monthly on 80% of expenses to prevent overpayment.   The final settlement is adjusted by any difference in reimbursement and expenses.
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COMMUNITY OUTREACH FAQs

Why does Care Coalition have a dedicated Community Outreach Section?

Due to the large number of non-profits (501C3s) that are available to support our military members and their families, the Care Coalition Community Outreach section was established to vet these organizations and ensure that the non-profit interacting with our SOF Wounded, Ill and Injured are well intentioned and that the service member does not inadvertently break any laws or policies in gift acceptance.  The Community Outreach section provides an avenue for non-profits to find and vet service members and veterans that meet their mission statement.

We also ensure that a non-profit is not covering something that is already a government benefit.  The Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs benefits should always be used prior to non-profit support.

 

What is the Wounded Warrior Assistance Act and how does it relate to gift acceptance?

The Wounded Warrior Assistance Act is part of Title 10 U.S.C. and was written to allow service members in a certain status to accept gifts outside of the normal allowed amount for a service member to accept (generally around $35).  This Act allows that those wounded in combat, in combat training, or in a combat zone to accept gifts from charitable organizations through their Ethics advisor.  The Wounded Warrior Assistance Act is one of many gift acceptance exemptions within the Department of Defense.

 

How many non-profits does the Care Coalition work with?

We have established relationships with over 100 non-profits that service SOF Wounded, Ill and Injured and their families.

 

I am a service member, how can I get help?

Please reach out to your Recovery Care Coordinator for assistance.


 I am a non-profit and would like to assist SOF service members, how can I help?

Please email us at ussocomcarecoalition@socom.mil.

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MILITARY ADAPTIVE SPORTS FAQs

What is Military Adaptive Sports?

USSOCOM's Care Coalition Adaptive Sports assists in the physical and mental recovery processes through exposure to adaptive team sports, speeding reintegration into the SOF community.  Adpative sports also promotes physical fitness, peer-to-peer support, and healthy/sustainable living.
 

How do I participate in Adaptive Sports Events?

Once you are entered into the Care Coalition, your Recovery Care Coordinator should discuss the Military Adaptive Sports with you. As long as your Primary Care Provider feels participation in Care Coalition Adaptive Sports would benefit your rehabilitation and recovery, you may be eligible to participate.  All Adaptive Sports events are posted in TEAM ROOM; or you can email us at: cc_mas@socom.mil. 
 

Misconceptions

The most common misconception is that you must be grievously injured or sustained significant physical injuries or wounds to participate.  THIS IS SIMPLY NOT THE CASE; Care Coalition Adaptive Sports is here to assist those with invisible wounds as well as those with visible wounds or injuries.  We also assist those service members that have suffered an injury or illness that have suffered previously and have since recovered
 

WHY should I participate in Adaptive Sports?

Adaptive sports encourages the concept of healing through sports.  The strength and stamina that is developed by participating in physical activity can help maintain a higher level of independence and self confidence.  Increases in physical activity will also positively affect a person's ability to return back to their unit, complete duties, and return to a healthy lifestyle.

 

Cost/ Funding

Active duty personnel funding is provided by USSOCOM.  Retirees and Veterans are funded by our numerous partner benevolent organizations.


 Am I able to bring my Caregiver/ Service Dogs?

If you have a have a necessity for the assistance of a Caregiver or service dog, we can accommodate your needs.  These accommodations will be handled on a case-by-case basis as well.

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CAREER TRANSITION FAQs

What is the USSOCOM Care Coalition Career Transition Initiative?

The USSOCOM Care Coalition Career Transition Initiative's purpose is to assist service members who are exiting the military prepare for post-service careers.  The support provided by the Career Transition Initiative consists of a Fellowship Program, Employment Assistance, and Retraining and Educational Resources.

 

What is the Care Coalition Fellowship Program?

The Fellowship Program allows active duty wounded, ill, and injured SOF service members in the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES) to participate in non-paid internships at companies and organizations.

 

What are the benefits of the fellowship program for a service member?

The internship opportunity allows the service member to gain civilian work experience, grow his or her professional network, build his or her resume, gain skills and possibly certifications, and in many cases lead to post-service employment.

 

What are the benefits of the fellowship program for a company?

The company benefits by utilizing the skills and talents of the intern at negligible cost to the company.  At the conclusion of the internship, the company has the opportunity to hire a skilled, fully trained employee.  The company is not required to hire the service member.

 

What is a long-term benefit of the fellowship?

The Department of Labor most recently reported that 67% of Veterans leave their first post-military employment opportunity within 8-12 months.  We are seeing a trend of a higher retention rate when our service members complete a fellowship with one of our partner companies and the fellow is offered follow-on employment with the same organization.

 

What is the process for offering a fellowship at a company?

The Career Transition Initiative team has multiple conversation with company representatives to discuss fellowship job description, ideal candidates, and company culture.  In addition, the SOCOM Care Coalition initiates a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the company and SOCOM.  Once the MOA is signed by both parties, the Care Coalition Career Transition Initiative Team sends resumes of interested service members who may be a good fit for the particular opportunity to the company. Company representatives then have the opportunity to interview the service member before offering a fellowship.

 

What is the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)? 

The MOA is a document outlining the basic parameters of the fellowship, thereby defining the intent of the fellowship, as well as outlining the expectations of the sponsoring organization and the fellow.  The MOA is signed by the appropriate company representatives and by the SOCOM Chief of Staff.

 

Why is the fellowship non-paid? Can the company pay the fellow?  

The fellowship is non-paid because the service member is still serving as an active duty service member in the military and is receiving active duty pay during the period of the fellowship. He or she is not permitted to receive pay from an outside organization.  In 2014, the Department of Defense Instruction (DoDI 1322.29) was established, allowing transitioning service members to participate in fellowships while still on active duty.

 

Is the company responsible for paying workman's compensation if the fellow is injured? 

No, the service member is still active duty and is fully covered by the military.

 

How should the company utilize the fellow within the organization?  

The intent of the fellowship program is to tailor the opportunity to each individual fellow based on his or her skills and interests. We recommend that, if possible, the fellow be exposed to various departments, jobs, and responsibilities within the company.  Although job shadowing can be beneficial to the fellow, we prefer that the fellow get as much hands-on experience as feasible.  The fellow is not permitted to participate in government sales.

 

How can the company create a successful fellowship? 

We have found it beneficial when the company connects the fellow with a mentor, preferably a veteran, within the organization.

 

Who has authority over the fellow?   

Because the fellow is still on active duty, his or her military chain of command is responsible for the fellow. However, because his or her military commander has given him or her permission to participate in the fellowship, her or she also reports to the supervisor assigned to him or her by the sponsoring organization. The fellow is expected to stay in continuous contact with his military commander, his fellowship supervisor, and the Care Coalition.

 

What is the length of the fellowship? 

 The length of the fellowship is dependent upon the IDES process, therefore the timeline can vary depending on each individual case. Generally, fellowships last approximately four to six months.  The service member has no control over the length of the IDES process.

 

What if the fellowship is not working out? Can the company terminate the fellowship?  

We put considerable effort into recommending the appropriate individual for each fellowship opportunity and we encourage the sponsoring organizations to invest in interviewing and finding the right placement for the fellow. In the rare and unlikely event that the fellow does not work out for the sponsoring organization the company can terminate the fellowship. Similarly, if the fellowship is not meeting the fellow's expectations and needs, the fellow is able to end the fellowship.  We request that in the event that the fellowship is not working out the way the company anticipates, that they reach out to the Care Coalition to discuss the concerns.

 

Is the company required to hire the fellow at the end of the fellowship?  

No, there is no commitment on the part of the company to offer employment.

 

What are the hours of the fellowship? 

Fellowships may be full-time or part-time. The fellowship hours will be determined by the service member and his or her supervisor at the company based upon the service member's availability and any requirements he or she may need to fulfill for his or her unit or for his or her IDES.

 

Will the fellow need special accommodations for a disability?    

Most Care Coalition fellows require no or minimal special accommodations.  If a potential fellow has any limitation that could affect his or her work, or if he or she needs any special accommodations, the Transition Team will discuss these needs with the company prior to coordinating the fellowship.

 

Do many of the service members have PTSD?  What does that mean with regard to a fellowship?  

Although Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a common response to multiple deployments, the majority of our service members are fully employable. The Care Coalition would not recommend a service member who is having severe emotional or behavioral concerns for a fellowship until those concerns have been addressed.

 

What are some of the partner companies that have participated in the fellowship program?   

The Care Coalition has a variety of program partners, spanning from global Fortune 500 companies, to mid-size business, to mom-and-pop operations nationwide. Companies like Starbucks and Microsoft have offered opportunities to multiple service members and veterans.  Smaller IT companies like Intelligent Waves and ITility have dedicated themselves to assisting service members by offering fellowship and employment opportunities. Additionally, the Care Coalition has partners within government contracting, athletic and fitness companies, agriculture, among others.

 

Can companies speak with other employers to ask about their experiences with the fellowship program?  

Absolutely. Please contact the Transition Team directly to request an introduction to some of our program partners.

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BENEFITS FAQs

Will I receive both military retirement and VA disability since my injuries are combat-related?

Only Service Members who have completed 20 years of active duty service are authorized the Concurrent Receipt Disability Pay (CRDP).  For those with less than 20 years of active duty service, the higher of the two between military retirement and VA disability pay is authorized.  Eligible Service Members may apply for Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC), which is a separate pay that can be claimed for VA-rated injuries that are combat-related. 

When do I apply for Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC)?

You should apply for CRSC after you receive your official VA rating letter. If you are a part of WCP, your WCP RCC can assist you with the application process.

Who is eligible for CRSC?

Applicants may apply for CRSC under one of four conditions:
     1. Armed Conflict (AC)- Armed Conflict includes war, expedition, occupation of an area or territory, battle, skirmish, raid, invasion, rebellion, insurrection, guerrilla action, riot or any other action in which service members are engaged with a hostile or belligerent nation, faction, force, or terrorists.
     2. Hazardous Service (HS)- Such services includes aerial flight, parachute duty, demolition duty, experimental stress duty, and diving duty.   The injury or disease must be the direct result of actions taken in the performance of such service.
     3. Conditions Simulating War (SW)- This covers disabilities resulting from military training, such as war games, practice alerts, tactical exercises, airborne operations, leadership reactions courses, grenade and live fire weapons practice, bayonet training, hand-to-hand combat training, rappelling and negotiation of combat confidence and obstacle courses.
     4. An Instrumentality of War (IN)- An instrumentality of war is a vehicle, vessel, or device designated primarily for military service and intended for use in such service at the time of the occurrence or injury.

What is Social Security's definition of disability?

 You must be unable to do substantial work because of your medical condition(s) and your medical condition(s) must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least one year or result in death.  Social Security does not give money to people with partial disability or short-term disability.

Does TSGLI cover injuries that I incurred off duty?

 Yes.  TSGLI provides insurance coverage for injuries incurred off duty, regardless of the geographical location in which the injury occurred, considering all TSGLI eligibility requirements are met.

How long will it take for the VA to start paying my disability pay?

 The time it takes to process disability pay varies on a case-by-case basis. Within the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES), Service Members are given a proposed VA rating, which is considered a 'draft' with no official standing until they are medically retired.  Following medical retirement, his/her case is given final consideration for a rating, and the processing time can vary based on the complexity of the case. For Service Members that separated from the military without having gone through a medical evaluation board (MEB), their claims cannot be submitted until they are truly a Veteran.  This processing time can also vary based on the complexity of the case.

Should I get an attorney to help with my VA claim?

 In most cases, it is not necessary to get assistance from an attorney.  However, many Veterans choose to get free assistance from organizations such as the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFV), and the Military Order of the Purple Heart.  These organizations will typically ask you to sign a limited power of attorney, which will allow them to speak with the VA on your behalf. They can help you determine status, ask the VA to reconsider the severity of your rated ailments, and help you with other support actions.  For more information regarding these organizations and their advocacy services, please visit their website.

When can I appeal or re-open my VA claim for a higher rating?

 You can appeal or re-open your VA claim after you are discharged from the military/Guard/Reserve; preferably within one year of your discharge date.

When will my COAD/COAR be completed?

 Continuation of Active Duty (COAD)/Continuation on Active Reserve (COAR) will be completed by the time you receive your final DA Form 199.

How long will I receive Special Compensation for Assistance with Activities of Daily Living (SCAADL), now that my spouse is taking care of me? 

The SCAADL allowance may continue for up to 90 days after your medical retirement date. This allows time for the VA Caregiver program to go through its stages of the approval process. If and when the VA Caregiver pay starts, SCAADL will end.

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