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The NHS Commissioning Board, jointly with NHS Blood and Transplant, has prepared the following explanation of the policy for the reimbursement of living kidney donors. Best practice must be congruent with the Human Tissue Act 2004 and the Human Tissue (Scotland) Act 2006. 

The principle of reimbursement is founded on the premise that there should be no financial incentive or disincentive in becoming a living kidney donor. 

Financial reimbursement for loss of earnings will be considered on a case by case basis for salaried donors, self employed donors and unemployed donors upon production of suitable evidence. For altruistic living donors reimbursement will be arranged by the Trust for the recipient of the kidney.

Any reimbursements should be agreed in principle before the donation takes place.

The NHS Commissioning Board (NHS CB) will reimburse donors directly to avoid delay caused by the processes of individual Trusts.

It is of particular importance that any such expenses are only reimbursed by the Trust and not by the family of the recipient. Any payment, even of reasonable expenses, by the family could be interpreted as an inducement. Financial reimbursement will reflect loss of earnings and other relevant expenses. 

Details of the levels of reimbursement are available in the NHS Policy Statement dated August 2017 and revised August 2018, issued by the NHS Commissioning Board Reference NHS England A06/P/a.

The aim of the Policy is to endeavour to ensure that the financial impact on the living kidney donor is cost neutral.

Documentation to support reasonable expenses for travel must be produced. Mileage will be reimbursed at the agreed NHS rate. 

The calculation of reimbursement will be agreed in a transparent and consistent manner before donation so that donors receive reimbursement with the minimal of delay post donation. 

Under exceptional circumstances, additional reimbursement costs may be considered on a case by case basis at the discretion of NHS England. 

It is unlawful for donors to be paid or rewarded for donating an organ or part organ and it is an offence to seek or receive payment or any other reward for providing organs or part organs for transplantation.  

Child Tax Credits and Working Tax Credit

A person’s entitlement to Child Tax Credit will not be affected by the fact that (s)he is a living donor. A short absence from work should not affect a donor’s entitlement to Working Tax Credit, including the child care element.

This is because HM Revenue & Customs does not regard the absence as affecting the donor’s “usual working hours” provided that he/she plans to return to work as soon as he/she has recovered. When entitlement to either or both of the tax credits is assessed, only taxable income is taken in to account. If donors receive non-taxable income, they are not required to report it to Inland Revenue. Donors who need further information can contact Tax Credit Helpline on 0345 300 3900 for further advice.

Consideration on an individual basis will be given to additional child care costs and other additional expenses. Expenses must be deemed reasonable and proportionate and, where possible anticipated prior to the donation.

The final decision as to whether expenses will be paid rests with the commissioners following consultation with the Trust.

To download a full copy of the current NHS Commissioning Policy Statement 2017 enter Reference NHS England A06/P/a into search engine to download a full copy of the document (revised 2018)

Download this information in PDF

The National Kidney Federation cannot accept responsibility for information provided. The above is for guidance only. Patients are advised to seek further information from their own doctor.