Transplantation Expenses - Living Donor

Introduction

Before becoming a living donor you will need to undergo a series of tests and health checks to find out whether you are suitable to donate. lf you are suitable, and the operation goes ahead, you will stay in hospital for about 4 days and may be unable to work for 1-3 months whilst you recover.

It may be possible for you to make a claim for loss of earnings or any travel expenses incurred.

This section explains the steps you need to take if you have been unable to work or suffered loss of earnings or expenses as a direct consequence of the living kidney donation.

Who is eligible to claim?

You can apply for expenses if:

  • your employer is not able to give you sick pay
  • you are self employed
  • you are an overseas donor

Overseas donors will need to have a UK bank account or access to their overseas account from the UK.

What do I need to do?

lf the tests show you are suitable to donate a kidney you can fill in a living donor expenses claim form. The living donor coordinators have a supply of the forms and will be able to help you with filling it in. NHS England deal with the donor’s claim for reimbursement. 

The claim form needs to be filled in clearly in block capitals. You will need to bring in other documents lo support your claim. These include:

  • a letter from your employer about the amount of financial support they are willing to pay. lf you are self employed then a statement from the tax office showing your most recent earnings is needed
  • proof of your earnings for a 3 month period. Original copies of your payslips can be used
  • confirmation of any statutory sick pay or incapacity benefit
  • receipts for travelling expenses (for example bus and train tickets, car parking, or mileage)

As soon as you are given a date for the transplant operation, the completed claim form together with the supporting documenls can be given to your living donor transplant co-ordinator.

How much can l claim?

It may be possible to claim up to a maximum of £5,500 in loss of earnings or travel expenses. Claims for loss of earnings will be considered for a period of 2 months initially. If you require longer than this off work, a letter will be needed from your transplant doctor at your 6 week clinic appointment.

Sometimes there may be extra expenses as a direct result of the donation (for example extra child care or accommodation costs). Claims for these costs will be considered on an individual basis. Documents to support these
expenses will also be needed.

All medical expenses for the donor relating to the donation (the tests in the UK, the operation, follow up appointments, drugs etc) are paid for by the NHS, even if the donor lives abroad and is not entitled to NHS treatment.

What if the donation does not proceed?

Donors who do not proceed with donation because they are found to be unsuitable can claim travel expenses but not loss of earnings. 

What happens next?

One of the living donor transplant co-ordinator will check your claim form together with the supporting documents, and will then submit the claim for you.

Your claim will then be considered. Sometimes additional information may be required before a decision is made.

When will I receive the expenses?

Once your claim has been approved you will receive the expenses after the transplant operation has taken place. To try to stop any delays the claim may be split into 2 payments:

  • an initial payment estimated on the first month following a transplant
  • a balancing payment

Once the claim has been approved the initial payment should be received within 6-8 weeks.

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