New loss of earnings compensation for live organ donors takes effect

Ministry of Health media release 4 December 2017

People who donate a kidney or part of their liver can now do so knowing they can be fully compensated for lost earnings as a result of their donation surgery.

The Ministry of Health will be implementing compensation for live organ donors from 5 December. People who donate a live organ will be fully recompensed for lost earnings for up to 12 weeks while they recover. This will be paid weekly following the donation surgery. In the past donors received some assistance in the form of a benefit for this. 

 ‘Loss of income can put people off donating an organ,’ says Clare Perry, Group Manager Integrated Service Design at the Ministry of Health. ‘Removing financial barriers can be a big help in deciding to go-ahead with what is often a life-saving donation.

‘With most live organ donations being made to family members or friends, not having to worry about lost income makes things easier during a time that is already stressful.

‘Most people who donate an organ take between 10 days and six weeks to recover, but if the hospital specialist says you need longer the Ministry of Health will pay your lost earnings for up to 12 weeks so money is less of an issue over this time.

‘The Ministry of Health, working with other government agencies, will take care of any deductions that may normally be made, such as PAYE and KiwiSaver.

‘Travel and accommodation assistance is also available for people who may need to travel to have specialist medical tests associated with their organ donation surgery.’

Hospital staff who assist live organ donors have been trained in the new compensation process. There is also information available on or through the Ministry of Health’s Contact Centre on 0800 855 066 and 0800 LIVE DONOR on 0800 5483 3666.