It is clearly important to consider, and talk about, the financial implications of donating a kidney. People’s circumstances differ but it is crucial for plans to be put in place well before the operation and time off work. Anyone who donates is entitled to claim for up to 12 weeks loss of income from the date of surgery.
Obviously it is important that appropriate payments are made and there is a bit of paperwork that is required! No re-imbursement can be given unless all this is all completed, so there is some work for you to do initially to allow the payments to be made after donation.
This issue should be discussed with the co-ordinators as soon as the medical assessment is complete, and they will guide and help with the process as they are very familiar with it.
In addition to loss of earnings, sometimes there are other costs that can be covered, particularly for those that live more than 2 hours by road from Belfast.
All donors should talk to the co-ordinators to clarify what is available for them.
Donors who do not live in NI
While it takes a bit more organising, it is certainly not impossible to receive a kidney from someone who does not live in NI. There has been a live donor from Poland who donated to his sister, and also one from Australia who gave his brother a kidney for Christmas in 2010. We have growing numbers from the Republic of Ireland. The co-ordinators work hard to enable such donations to happen with the minimum of visits and disruption. They also will help and advise in regards to travel and accommodation.