Author Topic: Experiences with the VA  (Read 791 times)

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Offline Katie V

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Experiences with the VA
« on: May 01, 2019, 08:59:55 am »
I'm considering checking out therapy with the VA.  I've been reluctant to do it through the VA because I know they have limited resources and I've always felt that combat related issues (PTS etc) should have priority over my gender issues so I've never scheduled anything with them.  But I've maybe put this off as long as I could and need to look into it. 

So, for those of you that have used the VA, what has been your experience with them and what services do they actually have available?  Also, do you see better or worse service at different VA clinics?  I'd probably be utilizing the Omaha VA so if anyone has direct experience with that one, I'd love to hear how it went.  Thanks!

Online Devlyn

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Re: Experiences with the VA
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2019, 09:55:45 am »
Thank you for your service, Katie. You can look up VHA Directive 1341, it outlines the treatment available.

Stop by our veterans thread  Roll Call!

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Veteran, US Army

Offline KathyLauren

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Re: Experiences with the VA
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2019, 02:19:02 pm »
I've been reluctant to do it through the VA because I know they have limited resources and I've always felt that combat related issues (PTS etc) should have priority over my gender issues so I've never scheduled anything with them.

Don't feel guilty!  You have earned their services.
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Offline CindyLouFromCO

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Re: Experiences with the VA
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2019, 02:45:09 pm »
My boyfriend uses the VA.  Honestly it drives me crazy.  It seems he has to wait a long time for an appointment.  And they always seem to schedule the wrong date, or send him to the wrong place for something.  He has normal health insurance also but he will not use it.  He would rather deal with the scheduling issues and wait times.  I think their overall care is decent once you are seen by someone.  This is from my perspective worrying about his health.  Maybe I’m too critical of the VA because I care about him and want him to see a dr right away when he is having a health issue.
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Offline Ryuichi13

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Re: Experiences with the VA
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2019, 04:24:54 pm »
Don't feel guilty!  You have earned their services.

I agree.  Thank you for your service in keeping us pacifists safe.

Go.  Use it for your gender therapy.  It makes me proud to know that my tax dollars are helping you. 

Ryuichi
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss




Offline Artesia

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Re: Experiences with the VA
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2019, 06:27:49 pm »
In my experience, different facilities offer different treatments.  I receive my HRT through the VA.  I received me voice training at the Indianapolis facility but was told they don't offer hair removal.  I, however, am receiving laser hair removal from the Chicago VA facility.
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Offline Rakel

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Re: Experiences with the VA
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2019, 07:59:02 pm »
I get my health care from the VA and once you have a primary care physician, they can oversee all your health needs. They do refer to specialists in the VA system and in certain cases they can send you to an outside physician if necessary.

If for any reason you are not satisfied with your primary care physician, you can request a a different provider. Transgender care is new to the VA and they are still learning how to best manage care for people with our condition.

You can expect counseling, lab tests, hormone therapy and voice training at almost all VA Hospitals. Some VA Hospitals offer additional services, such as laser therapy.  I have seen surgery performed on patients who have had service connected genital injuries. The surgery was to restore the original organs, not transgender surgeries.

I do not know if any VA will do any facial surgery or a mastectomy for transgender purposes. I do not know of any VA Hospitals offering electrolysis.




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Laurie

Re: Experiences with the VA
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2019, 12:35:25 am »
I have been getting my health care from the VA for several years.  About 2 1/2 years ago I told my GP I was transgender. Since then I have gotten all my medications HRT and others, my therapy, oncology visits and cancer treatments, scan s and labs from the VA here in Portland ,Or. I have been very satisfied with the services I have received from the VA.

Offline Katie V

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Re: Experiences with the VA
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2019, 08:32:07 am »
Thanks for the replies. 

I have been getting my health care from the VA for several years.  About 2 1/2 years ago I told my GP I was transgender. Since then I have gotten all my medications HRT and others, my therapy, oncology visits and cancer treatments, scan s and labs from the VA here in Portland ,Or. I have been very satisfied with the services I have received from the VA.

Laurie, I'm overall pretty healthy so I haven't had any VA services outside a yearly checkup.  But that's always with a random first year resident.  I would expect if I brought up gender issues that they would pass me off to someone with some experience in that field or refer me to a therapist.  Is that your experience?

I was surprised last checkup when they did ask if I was experiencing any gender identity issues.  That was new and I was caught  off guard so of course I just said no and moved on.  So it appears that there is a push to at least include those questions in the general screenings. 

Colleen_definitely

Re: Experiences with the VA
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2019, 08:40:03 am »
It seems to depend on which facility you go to.

The ones I've been to were so rife with incompetence and "that ain't my job" attitudes that I won't step foot in a VA facility again.  And that's just on the caregiver side of things.

The management side of those places is even worse from my experience working on scientific equipment for the research side of the VA.

Offline Bea1968

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Re: Experiences with the VA
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2019, 10:15:50 am »
You can use VA services even if not retired or have service related injury?

Colleen_definitely

Re: Experiences with the VA
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2019, 11:12:14 am »
It seems that you can be eligible if you served for at least 24 months active or did a reserve/guard call up and have a discharge of any type other than dishonorable.  Coverage seems to be based on income if you aren't service connected, former POW, or have an enemy marksmanship medal award.

I looked for a straight answer on the VA page but the best I could find was more or less "stop by, apply, and we'll tell you!"

Offline Katie V

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Re: Experiences with the VA
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2019, 11:40:55 am »
It seems that you can be eligible if you served for at least 24 months active or did a reserve/guard call up and have a discharge of any type other than dishonorable.  Coverage seems to be based on income if you aren't service connected, former POW, or have an enemy marksmanship medal award.

I looked for a straight answer on the VA page but the best I could find was more or less "stop by, apply, and we'll tell you!"

That's what I did after having coverage became mandated with ObamaCare.  I couldn't afford insurance so I signed up with VA and was accepted.

Offline Rakel

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Re: Experiences with the VA
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2019, 08:39:15 pm »
or have an enemy marksmanship medal award.

It is OK to say Purple Heart here.

Quote
I looked for a straight answer on the VA page but the best I could find was more or less "stop by, apply, and we'll tell you!"

The eligibility rules keep changing depending on Congress, Court rulings and VA interpretation of existing policy guidelines. VA eligibility is a very complex subject. You need to visit a VA facility to get the latest interpretation.




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