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    Transgender Veterans Group Threatens VA with Lawsuit over Yearslong Delay in Covering Surgeries

    Transgender Veterans Group Threatens VA with Lawsuit over Yearslong Delay in Covering Surgeries

    An advocacy group for transgender veterans is threatening to sue the Department of Veterans Affairs over its delay in offering gender-affirming surgery.

    In a letter Monday to the VA's top lawyer, lawyers for the Transgender American Veterans Association, or TAVA, said not providing the surgeries has “increased risk of physical harm, psychological distress and suicide” for transgender veterans.

    “VA has placed TAVA and its members in an unstable state of limbo, wherein they are repeatedly assured by the secretary that VA-provided [gender-affirmation surgery] will be available, but are given no indication of when nor which procedures will be covered,” lawyers from the Veterans Legal Services Clinic at Yale Law School, which is representing TAVA, wrote in the letter.

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    The letter says transgender veterans have delayed medically necessary surgeries due to VA Secretary Denis McDonough's promises with the expectation they could use VA health care instead of expensive private treatments.

    “But absent action from the secretary, this waiting period may only exacerbate the mental health risks detailed above,” the lawyers wrote.

    Asked for comment on the letter, a VA spokesperson said the policy on gender-affirmation surgeries is still in the works and is “being considered carefully and thoroughly, with full understanding of its importance and urgency.”

    “It's…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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