Frequently Asked Questions - Patient Care Services
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Patient Care Services

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you use the term “LGBT and related identities?”

LGBT stands for “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender.” There are many terms associated with sexual orientation identity and gender identity and these are just a few. It is up to the Veteran to decide upon the term that best suits them. “LGBT and related identities” is an inclusive term for sexual and gender minorities.

Are there any providers specializing in transgender Veteran care in my area?

All VA facilities are required to provide care to transgender Veterans or pay for services in the community. To find the LGBT Veteran Care Coordinator (VCC) at your facility use this tool. They will be the most knowledgeable about local resources.

How do I get transition-related care at the VA?

If you are not already enrolled in healthcare, that is the first step.

Veterans can apply for VA health care enrollment by completing VA Form 10-10EZ. Apply online, or visit, call or write to any VA health care facility or Veterans' benefits office. You can also call the VA Health Benefits Call Center toll free at 877-222 VETS (877-222-8387). Get the latest on VA health care eligibility and enrollment.Watch a new video that helps guide patients through the enrollment process. You can also use the Vets.gov site to obtain additional information.

Once enrolled, you will have a primary care provider. Your primary care provider can submit a consult for counseling services to discuss transitioning or an evaluation for hormone therapy.

If you are already being seen within the VA you can ask for a referral to mental health/behavioral health for an evaluation for gender dysphoria - this is the diagnosis that is treated by psychotherapy and/or hormone treatment. But everyone's goals are different. Talk with your providers about what makes sense for you.

Why are there resources being devoted to LGBT Veterans?

Research shows that LGBT Veterans expect to experience discrimination in VHA facilities which may prevent engagement in care. Research also shows that due to stigma, stress, and discrimination, LGBT Veterans as a group experience higher rates of several health conditions compared to non-LGBT Veterans, including higher risk for suicide. Therefore, VA is working to reduce minority stress and engage sexual and gender minority Veterans in order to provide health care that addresses their needs.

What are the Self-Identified Gender Identity and Birth Sex fields?

VA understands that Veterans with transgender and related gender identities face increased health risks and unique challenges in health care, and is committed to promoting a welcoming environment that is inclusive of all Veterans. Previously, your medical record had only one place for your sex and gender. Now, you can have both your Birth Sex and your Self-Identified Gender Identity in your medical record. For more information, see the Birth Sex and Self-Identified Gender Identity Fact Sheet or the Provider Fact Sheet on Birth Sex and Self-Identified Gender Identity.

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VHA Directive 1340: Health Care for Veterans who Identify as Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual
VHA Directive 1341 (Providing Health Care for Transgender and Intersex Veterans)