*Name changed to protect the identity of the client
The rights of transgender individuals are being threatened in the United States, and the DC Bar Foundation stands firmly in support of our transgender and LGBTQ neighbors across the country and in the District. We are proud to fund Whitman-Walker Health (WWH), whose mission is to offer affirming community-based health and wellness services to all with special expertise in LGBTQ+ and HIV care.
WWH's legal team helps with health insurance appeals, work disputes, discrimination, Social Security disability applications and appeals, public benefits appeals (Medicaid, Medicare, SNAP/Food Stamps), immigration matters, powers of attorney and wills, elder issues, medical privacy, and identity documents for trans and gender-expansive clients, among other problems. Read on to learn how WWH's legal services help preserve identity and autonomy for transgender clients like Tanya*.
Tanya*, a transgender woman living with HIV and Ward 8 resident, is a medical patient and long-time legal client of WWH.
In the fall of 2021, she asked for assistance with preparing a healthcare power of attorney (HCPOA) document. Tanya knew her medical team would likely need these instructions and wanted to protect her gender identity, privacy, and autonomy. WWH's legal staff conducted a thorough intake interview with Tanya and placed her case with one of their trained Federal Government volunteer pro bono attorneys. WWH's legal team made accommodations to bring Tanya and her volunteer attorney into WWH for their first counseling session.
Tanya and her attorney are working together to complete Tanya's HCPOA and other future planning documents, including a general power of attorney, disposition of bodily remains, and a will. These documents will ultimately help Tanya, and her designated agent, preserve her transgender identity – which is vital in the event she is hospitalized or needs long-term care.
To learn more about how the Foundation supports life-altering legal aid in the District, visit our website.