WASHINGTON, DC – The US Department of Veterans Affairs today announced that it is closing the gap in survivor benefits for certain survivors of LGBTQ veterans, specifically those who were unable to wed until the 2015 Obergefell Supreme Court Decision.
“LGBTQ veterans have served their country – and continue to serve – in every branch of the US military, and they and their families have earned survivor benefits,” said Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. “When we met with VA Secretary Denis McDonough in June, this was one of several issues that we discussed. We’re grateful that the department is taking action, and that the families of LGBTQ veterans will have access to this important and well-deserved benefit.”
This extension of survivor benefits is effective immediately, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Eligible survivors can apply for these benefits here, and more information about this announcement can be found here. LGBTQ Veterans can learn more about VA’s current health offerings on the LGBTQ+ Health Program website.