Non-Medical Attendant (NMA)

Post 9/11 GI Bill and Transfer

The Non-Medical Attendant (NMA) program is designed for seriously wounded, ill and injured Soldiers who could benefit from the presence and assistance of Family or friends. If the Soldier’s primary care manager (PCM) determines that the Soldier is eligible for NMA assistance, then one person, designated by the Soldier, is authorized to serve as a NMA. This person provides additional support as the Soldier recovers, rehabilitates and transitions. Support may include driving the Soldier to appointments, providing a safe home environment, assisting with shopping, assisting with medication management, and/or assisting with managing medical and administrative paperwork.

Related Policies and Resources

The following Warrior Transition Command (WTC) resources are available to assist you in learning more about the NMA program, how to obtain NMA orders, and how to become a NMA:

  1. Warrior Transition Unit Non-Medical Attendants Policy
  2. NMA Orientation Brief for NMAs
  3. NMA Defense Travel System (DTS) Self Registration Worksheet
  4. DA Form 4187: Appeal NMA Decision

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Soldier FAQs

How is SCAADL different from a NMA?
How do I obtain a NMA?
How is a NMA different from any other supportive Family or friend?
What kind of activities does a NMA do to support a Soldier?
How long do NMAs support a Soldier?
How long does it take to be approved for NMA?

NMA FAQs

How do I become a NMA?
What are the official duties of a NMA?
Do NMAs need to pay out-of-pocket expenses while supporting the Soldier?
My Soldier was not designated as NMA-eligible, but needs additional support. How can he/she get help?
What should the NMA do if the PCM and interdisciplinary team decide the Soldier no longer requires a NMA, but the NMA disagrees?
Some NMA seem to receive “NMA Pay”.  What is this and are all NMAs entitled to it?
How does the NMA get access to military things like the PX and Commissary while they support the Soldier?
If the Soldier goes on vacation and the NMA wishes to attend with the Soldier, does the NMA continue to receive per diem?
If the NMA has his/her own health care concerns, what should the NMA do?
Do NMAs receive training?

Soldier FAQs

How is SCAADL different from a Non-Medical Attendant (NMA)?

Special Compensation for Assistance with Activities of Daily Living (SCAADL) is a program that provides funds directly to a Soldier so that a Soldier may pay a home health aide to provide the Soldier with assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, eating, and dressing. A NMA is a person that provides support to the Soldier, while the Soldier recovers and heals.

How do I obtain a NMA?

When a seriously ill and injured Soldier is in outpatient status, a doctor (the Soldier’s PCM) determines that a Soldier may benefit from having someone near him/her to provide support and encouragement during recovery. Once the PCM makes this determination, the PCM submits a request to the commander for the Soldier to have a NMA. The commander must approve the request.

How is a NMA different from any other supportive Family or friend?

NMAs differ from families that provide support in that they are placed on official military orders. This provides them with certain entitlements while they provide support to the Soldier. Please refer to WTC Policy: Warrior Transition Unit Non-Medical Attendants Policy for additional details.

What kind of activities does a NMA do to support a Soldier?

NMAs provide personal support to the Soldier, which may include the following activities:

  • Escort/drive to and from appointments
  • Assist with shopping
  • Help the Soldier create a safe living environment
  • Advocate for Soldier
  • Motivate the Soldier
  • Assist the Soldier with the medication of their medications
  • Assist the Soldier with managing medical and administrative paperwork

Please see the NMA Responsibilities section of the WTC Policy: Warrior Transition Unit Non-Medical Attendants Policy to learn more about their official duties.

How long do NMAs support a Soldier?

The timeframe that a NMA is required is based upon need as determined by the PCM, but typically support is provided in 30 day increments, up to 180 days. Thirty days prior to the end of the NMA orders, the PCM will re-evaluate the Soldier. If the need continues, the PCM will submit a request to the commander to extend the time period. Once the Soldier no longer needs a NMA, the PCM will formally counsel the Soldier and NMA with the reason for discontinuing NMA orders. Soldiers may submit an appeal form to the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) surgeon or deputy commander of clinical services at the hospital if assigned to a WTU without a battalion surgeon.

How long does it take to be approved for NMA?

Usually about 5 – 10 business days.

Non-Medical Attendants FAQs

How do I become a NMA?

After the PCM determines that a seriously wounded, ill and injured Soldier needs support and encouragement, the Soldier selects an individual that he/she would like to help. The commander must approve both the request from the PCM and the person selected by the Soldier to be his/her NMA.

What are the official duties of a NMA?

Besides providing support to the Soldier, the NMA is required to perform the following:

  • Meet with a Defense Travel System (DTS) specialist. The DTS specialist will help the NMA complete paperwork necessary to receive per diem funds (if the NMA qualifies for per diem funds) or any funds related to travel. The NMA should come prepared to the meeting with their DTS Self Registration Worksheet , checking account number, bank routing number, and identification card. The DTS specialist will provide guidance to the NMA on the need for receipts, when travel vouchers need to be complete, and other important matters.
  • Receive DTS counseling . During the NMA’s meeting with a DTS specialist, the NMA will receive “counseling” from the specialist. This counseling provides a written record of everything that the NMA will need to do with the DTS to receive payment (if the NMA is entitled to it).
  • Complete company-level in-processing. The unit will want to ensure they have the NMA’s contact information and other demographic data to ensure they can provide the NMA with assistance when needed.
  • Along with Soldier, meet with squad leader at least weekly. The NMA should meet with the squad leader weekly to ensure the Soldier understands his/her schedule.
  • Along with the Soldier, meet with the NCM at least monthly. The NMA should meet with the NCM monthly to ensure appointments are made in a timely manner.
  • Attend appointments with Soldier. The Soldier will determine if he/she would like the NMA to go into the medical appointments with them, but the NMA should escort or assist the Soldier in going to and from medical as well as other appointments.
  • Attend formations and Town Halls with Soldier at least quarterly. NMAs should attend formations and attend Town Halls to receive information, provide feedback on the program, and have their concerns addressed. A Soldier’s squad leader should be able to provide the NMA with meeting times and locations.
  • Attend Family Readiness Group meetings at least quarterly. Family Readiness Groups provide proactive education and support that enhance self reliance and Family well-being. It is an effective interface between the command and Families. The unit commander should be able to provide meeting times and locations.
  • Meet with ombudsmen within 30 days of arrival. The ombudsman is a member of the hospital staff that hears and investigates complaints and helps facilitate resolutions to the issues. Meeting with the ombudsmen will provide knowledge of what they can do should you have a complaint or concern that your unit leadership cannot manage. The Soldier’s squad leader should be able to provide meeting times and locations.
  • Meet with SFAC within 30 days of arrival. The Soldier Family Assistance Center (SFAC) is a one-stop location that provides support services to Soldiers and Families that are assigned to the WTUs They provide an array of services such as child care, financial planning, legal assistance and educational programs. The Soldier’s squad leader should be able to provide meeting times and locations.
  • Complete NMA orientation brief and training. To ensure NMAs understand their roles and responsibilities, the WTU or CCU will provide briefings that outline the duties, responsibilities, and entitlements of NMA. The Soldier’s squad leader should be able to provide meeting times and locations.

Do NMAs need to pay out-of-pocket expenses while supporting the Soldier?

Yes, but not all costs. NMAs have entitlements that are set by Congress and cannot be altered at a unit level. Entitlements include per diem pay (which covers meals and incidentals at a determined government rate for the area in which the Soldier is located), some transportation costs (to include cost of travel to and from the Soldier’s location X1, some costs associated with driving the Soldier to and from medical appointments if they are away from the local area). Not all NMAs qualify for all entitlements so the unit will outline the NMA’s entitlements upon arrival.

My Soldier was not designated as NMA-eligible, but needs additional support. How can he/she get help?

Inform the PCM of your concerns. If unable to speak with the PCM right away, speak with any member of the Soldier’s interdisciplinary team (including the squad leader, NCM, PCM, social worker, occupational therapist, physical therapist, transition coordinator, or chaplain). They can provide guidance and help in this process.

What should the NMA do if the PCM and interdisciplinary team decide the Soldier no longer requires a NMA, but the NMA disagrees?

Set up an appointment with the battalion surgeon or the hospital’s deputy commander for clinical services (DCCS). They will listen and help find a solution. If you still have concerns after meeting with the battalion surgeon or the DCCS, you can request a meeting with the WTU/CCU commander. Additional support can be provided through the ombudsmen.

Some NMA seem to receive “NMA Pay”. What is this and are all NMAs entitled to it?

NMA Pay is a phrase coined by some NMAs when they discuss the per diem benefits they receive while supporting the Soldier. NMAs, however, are not paid to provide support for their Soldier. The per diem benefits help off-set some expenditures that a person may incur while staying at a location other than their homes while providing support. Not all NMAs receive per diem benefits. Your unit Defense Travel System (DTS) specialist can outline individual benefits.

How does the NMA get access to military things like the PX and Commissary while they support the Soldier?

Once the NMA is on official orders, the NMA (if not in the military) will be provided letters that provide access to the installation activities such as the PX and commissary. In order to use the facilities, the NMA must carry the letter with them.

If the Soldier goes on vacation and the NMA wishes to attend with the Soldier, does the NMA continue to receive per diem?

No. While the Soldier is on vacation, the NMA is not entitled to receive per diem based upon federal regulations.

If the NMA has his/her own health care concerns, what should the NMA do?

Speak with the NCM. The hospital may be able to provide assistance. If not, the NCM will be able to help find the care you need in the local community. Please ensure you inform the NCM of your health care insurance plan so that they can ensure proper coordination.

Do NMAs receive training?

Yes. Training for NMAs includes the following:

  • Orientation to Duties and Responsibilities of NMA within 1 week of assignment as NMA
  • WTU Orientation within 1 week of assignment as NMA
  • IDES Familiarity Briefing within 30 days of arrival
  • Installation Fire and Safety Training (if in on-installation lodging)
  • First aid and CPR Training (not available at every unit)

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