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Many LGBTQ+ Vets Still Having Trouble Getting Benefits, Suit Says

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Center for American Progress report found that it was so difficult that fewer than 500 vets had applied.Last fall, on the 10th anniversary of the repeal of DADT, the VA announced that veterans who’ve been given anything less than an honorable discharge strictly because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV status will be eligible for the full slate of benefits unless there’s something else in their record that disqualifies them, and application for the upgrade was unnecessary.

The VA said there would be new guidance issued for reviewing benefit claims, but the problem is, it hasn’t been made public, say officials with the National Veterans Legal Services Program.“There was all this attention with the announcement, then we started asking around, and no one had a copy of the policy,” Renee Burbank, the veterans’ group’s director of litigation, told The Washington Post. “What does it actually say?

What does it actually change or do? For all we know, it could be perfect. It could be great. But we don’t know unless we see it.”The NVLSP requested a copy of the guidance under the Freedom of Information Act in April, but it has not received the document or even “a substantive response” to its request, according to a complaint the group filed in federal court in June.

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