What is the National Living Donor Assistance Center (NLDAC)?

living kidney donor assistance

You may be able to get money for the expenses of being a Living Kidney Donor!

The National Living Donor Assistance Center (NLDAC) is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of two financial assistance awards totaling $9,700,000 and $1,992,684.

What can be reimbursed?

If you have an interest in being a living organ donor (kidney, liver, uterus, intestine, lung) you may be able to apply for help with travel expenses, lost wages, and dependent care expenses.

But only if you cannot be reimbursed for these costs by your:

    • Recipient
    • A state program
    • An insurance company. 

Are you eligible?

You and the recipient must both:

  • Be U.S. citizens or lawfully present residents 
  • Have primary residence in the U.S. or its territories

Eligibility is based on the transplant recipient’s household income

  • Yearly household income should not be more than 350% of the current HHS Poverty Guidelines. See Eligibility Guidelines
  • If the 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. 
  • Funding based on donor household incomes may be considered.

Note: You may be approved, even if above the income guidelines. The income prioritization becomes more important as the funding becomes depleted.

It is better to apply and try to get funding than to assume you won’t qualify.

What if I am a non-directed donor and don’t know my recipient?

  • Recipient income is not needed
  • You will still provide your income information. Only if funds become depleted will you need to have income prioritized.
  • It is highly likely you will be approved for funds as a non-directed donor!

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.

What is the deadline for the application?

All applications must be approved and funded before donation surgery.

  • It is recommended that you apply as soon as possible once you know your transplant center and have started workup.
  • Do not wait until your workup is complete. You do not have to be accepted to be a donor to apply.
  • It is better if you apply earlier in the year when the most funds are available.

What is the reimbursement limit?


Travel Expenses for donor and support person includes:

  • Travel for:
    • Evaluation
    • Donation surgery
    • Follow-up trips to the transplant center for up to 2 years after the donation surgery 
    • The transplant center may request NLDAC fund a trip more than 2 years after the donation surgery. 
  • Transportation
  • Lodging
  • Meals

Lost Wage Reimbursement includes:

  • Up to 3 days for evaluation
  • Up to 4 weeks for recovery from donation surgery 
  • Up to 2 weeks for follow-up trips or rehospitalization due to complications. 

Dependent Care Expenses includes:

  • Covers the same time period as the lost wage reimbursement 
  • Up to $420 per week of childcare expenses
  • Up to $504 per week of adult-care expenses because they cannot provide care during their appointments or recovery.

Consider This!

It is important for you to plan ahead!

You must apply through a transplant program that is registered with NLDAC. 

  • A list of transplant centers enrolled with NLDAC can be found HERE.
  • If your transplant program is not enrolled, contact your transplant center and request that they register. 
  • Start this process as soon as possible so you can provide all the needed information and be approved before your surgery.
Please share with anyone considering being a Living Donor!

View this 1-minute video “Introduction to NLDAC

Get the brochure “Living organ donors can get help to pay for
travel expenses, lost wages, and dependent care
Learn about this program and how to apply

Call NLDAC at 888.870.5002

More details and the income tables can be found at https://www.livingdonorassistance.org/

(original blog post 9/24/2021; updated 3/31/2022)


Receive Living Kidney Transplant/Donor Updates HERE

Would you like more information about Living Kidney Donation, email us at info@MyKDC.org


Glenna Frey, APRN-CNS, is a nephrology nurse who donated her kidney in April 2017 to a stranger.
Amanda Frey, M.A., LMFT, LPC, is a Marriage & Family Therapist living with kidney disease.
Together, they co-founded Kidney Donor Conversations in 2018 to provide education about Living Kidney Donation.