Eligibility Guidelines

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Who can apply for assistance?

Individuals considering becoming a living organ donor can apply for help with their travel expenses, lost wages, and dependent care expenses from NLDAC if they cannot be reimbursed for these costs by their recipient, a state program, or an insurance company. There is no direct assistance for transplant recipients through this program, though their information is required for the donor’s application.

Living donors of these organs can apply:
  • Kidney
  • Liver
  • Uterus
  • Intestine
  • Lung

The donor and the recipient must both be U.S. citizens or lawfully present residents, and have their primary residence in the U.S. or its territories.

All applications must be approved and funded before donation surgery. We can only reimburse expenses that happen after the application is approved.

How is eligibility determined?

Eligibility is determined based on the transplant recipient’s household income. The recipient’s yearly household income should not be more than 350% of the current HHS Poverty Guidelines (see below). If the recipient’s household income is higher, but they would have trouble paying for their donor’s expenses, they must complete and submit a financial hardship waiver worksheet with their application. NLDAC does not currently limit donor household income, but will prioritize funding for donors whose household income is within these guidelines if there is not enough funding to approve all eligible applications.

# of people in household 48 contiguous states & DC Alaska Hawaii
1 $52,710  $65,835 $60,585
2 $71,540 $89,390 $82,250
3 $90,370 $112,945 $103,915
4 $109,200 $136,500 $125,580
5 $128,030 $160,055 $147,245
6 $146,860 $183,610 $168,910
7 $165,690 $207,165 $190,575
8 $184,520 $230,720 $212,240

The HHS Poverty Guidelines are updated yearly, and can be consulted here.

Who may not be eligible?

The Organ Donation and Recovery Improvement Act outlines three situations in which NLDAC cannot provide funding, even if the applicant meets the other eligibility requirements. Specifically, we can only provide funds to donors whose expenses cannot be reimbursed by their recipient, an insurance company, or a state program.

  • Reimbursement by the recipient: The National Organ Transplant Act allows organ recipients to pay for their living donors’ travel, lodging, and lost wages in connection with the donation. NLDAC must assess the recipient’s ability to help their donor before approving an application.
  • Reimbursement by an insurance company: Some insurance policies provide a travel benefit for their clients’ living donors. Recipients should check with their insurance company before submitting a NLDAC application to see what support is available for their donor. NLDAC can work with donors who receive partial reimbursement of their expenses from an insurance company to cover unreimbursed expenses. Donors to recipients who are fully commercially insured by UnitedHealthcare can apply for reimbursement of travel expenses from UnitedHealthcare through NLDAC’s website.
  • Reimbursement by a state program: Donors and recipients who live in Iowa may be eligible for reimbursement of travel expenses through the Anatomical Gift Public Awareness and Transplantation Fund. NLDAC cannot accept applications for reimbursement of travel expenses from Iowa residents or donors to Iowa residents due to the existence of this alternative reimbursement system. These donors may apply for reimbursement of lost wages and dependent care expenses from NLDAC.
Are non-directed donors eligible?

An anonymous, non-directed donor is someone who donates an organ without choosing their recipient or knowing who the recipient is. In reviewing these donors’ applications, NLDAC does not require or consider any information about the recipient. Non-directed donors who meet the citizenship and residency requirements listed above are eligible.

NLDAC’s eligibility guidelines, which were established by the Health Resources and Services Administration and published in the Federal Register, can be consulted here. The Final Rule authorizing the use of federal funding for the reimbursement of lost wages and dependent care expenses can be consulted here

Learn what you need to know before applying for NLDAC assistance by reading our Program Snapshot.

Organ Donor
University of Kansas
Arbor Research Collaborative for Health