Patient Care Services
VHA LGBTQ+ Health Program
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) welcomes all Veterans, families, caregivers, and survivor beneficiaries, including diverse gender identities and sexual orientations. “LGBTQ+” refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer identities. The “+” sign captures identities beyond LGBTQ, including but not limited to questioning, pansexual, asexual, agender, gender diverse, nonbinary, gender-neutral, and other identities. LGBTQ+ Veterans have faced stigma and discrimination, which can affect health. As a healthcare institution, we need to make sure that LGBTQ+ Veterans know that they are welcome at Veterans Health Administration (VHA).
LGBTQ+ Veterans will choose VA and receive affirming care and services to achieve optimal health and well-being.
Available Health Care Services
There is an LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinator (LGBTQ+ VCC) at every facility to help you get the care you need. VHA policies require that your health care is delivered in an affirming and inclusive environment and that VHA employees respect your identity. Contact the LGBTQ+ VCC at your nearest facility.
VA health care includes, among other services:
- Gender Affirming Hormone Therapy
- Substance use/alcohol treatment
- Tobacco use treatment
- Treatment and prevention of sexually transmitted infections PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) and PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) for Veterans at risk for HIV.
- Intimate partner violence reduction and treatment of after effects
- Military Sexual Trauma screening and treatment of after effects
- Suicide prevention services. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, contact the Veterans Crisis Line to receive free, confidential support and crisis intervention available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Dial 988 then Press 1, text 838255 or chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat.
- Whole Health
- Cancer screening, prevention and treatment
- Virtual Mental Health Care: Veterans can connect with a VA mental health provider through a computer or mobile device from the comfort of their homes or at their nearest VA health facility.
- Infertility: VA is committed to helping Veterans navigate challenges that may arise from issues with fertility and the conception of a child.
Does my sexual orientation or gender identity matter to my health care?
As a result of stigma, stress, and discrimination, LGBTQ+ Veterans face increased health risks and unique challenges in health care. We want you to be comfortable talking with your VA providers about all aspects of your life, so we can offer you the best care possible.
Learn about health risks and why you should talk to your provider about your sexual orientation identity, birth sex, and self-identified gender identity in the fact sheets below.
- Transgender Men & Transmasculine Veterans Health Care Fact Sheet (PDF)
- Transgender Women & Transfeminine Veterans Health Care Fact Sheet (PDF)
- Gay, Bisexual, and Queer Veteran Health Care Fact Sheet (PDF)
- Lesbian, Bisexual, and Queer Veteran Health Care Fact Sheet (PDF)
- Nonbinary Veteran Health Care Fact Sheet (PDF)
- Veteran - Birth Sex and Self-Identified Gender Identity Fact Sheet (PDF)
- Provider - Birth Sex and Self-Identified Gender Identity Fact Sheet (PDF)
- Sexual Orientation and Sexual Health Veteran Fact Sheet (PDF)
Learn about the resources and support available for LGBTQ+ Veterans who have faced challenges related to coming out or are unsure what services they are eligible for at VA.
- Coming Out to Your Health Care Provider
- Lesbian, Gay Bisexual & Transgender Queer Questioning + (LGBTQ+) Service Members and Veterans
- How to Apply for a Discharge Upgrade
VA Begins Action to Allow for Gender-Affirming Surgeries in VA Health Care Coverage
VA currently provides all medically necessary gender-affirming care to transgender Veterans with the exception of gender-affirming surgical interventions, due to an exclusion in the VA medical benefits package. The LGBTQ+ Health Program is pleased to share that in the summer 2021, VA will be initiating the rulemaking process to modify the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) to expand VA’s care to transgender Veterans to include gender-affirming surgery.
1. VA currently provides all medically necessary gender-affirming care to transgender Veterans with the exception of gender-affirming surgical interventions, due to an exclusion in the VA medical benefits package.
2. Gender-affirming procedures have been proven effective at mitigating serious health conditions, including suicidality, substance abuse, and dysphoria.
3. Removing this exclusion would allow VA to provide transgender and gender diverse Veterans with coordinated, medically necessary, transition-related surgical procedures. In addition, revising the medical benefits package would enable a safe, coordinated continuum of care that is Veteran-centric and consistent with VA’s values of equity and respect for all Veterans.
4. The entire rulemaking process can take approximately two years and includes a period of public comment. This will allow VA to develop the framework to provide the full continuum of care in a way that is consistent with VA’s rigorous standards for quality health care.
5. During the rulemaking process, VA will continue to provide or pay for the services it currently offers, including corrective procedures after gender affirming surgeries a Veteran obtains outside VA, hormone therapy, and other gender affirming care.
FAQs: Removing “Gender Alterations” Exclusion from the VA Medical Benefits Package - (PDF)
Q. Are there any providers specializing in transgender Veteran care in my area?
Q. How do I get transition-related care at the VA?
Q. Why are there resources devoted to LGBTQ+ Veterans?
SEE ALL QUESTIONS
Need Help? LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinator (VCC) Services
There is an LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinator (LGBTQ+ VCC) at every facility to help you get the care you need. VHA policies require that your health care is delivered in an affirming and inclusive environment and that VHA employees respect your identity.
Reach out to your local facility’s LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinator today: https://www.patientcare.va.gov/LGBT/VAFacilities.asp
Not yet a patient at VA? - Apply Now
*Link will take you outside of the Dept of Veterans Affairs (VA) Website. VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of the linked websites. The link will open in a new window for the content of the linked websites.