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.
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.
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.
The HHS Poverty Guidelines are updated yearly, and can be consulted here.
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.
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.
Application Process - Step by Step Guide