Support for Living Organ Donors Program

Information about support for living organ donors

Page last updated: 10 May 2017

Supporting Living Organ Donors Program

Living Organ Donation

  • A living organ donor is someone who donates a kidney or partial liver to another person - usually a relative or close friend - who has end stage kidney disease or liver failure.
  • Living organ donation requires major surgery and is not without risk to the donor. Prospective donors are required to undergo extensive testing to ensure they are a suitable match for the intended recipient and are physically and mentally healthy enough to be able to donate.
  • If surgery proceeds, an employed donor will require a significant amount of time off work to recover. Depending on the donor's leave arrangements, some donors may be required to take this period as leave without pay, or may exhaust their paid leave entitlements. This can lead to financial stress and donors may feel pressured to return to work before they have completely recovered.

Supporting Living Organ Donors Program

  • The Supporting Living Organ Donors Program (the Program) seeks to raise the profile of living organ donors and also encourage employers to support donors.
  • The aim of the Program is to ensure that cost is not a barrier for living organ donors to donate a kidney or part of their liver by providing a financial contribution to employers to either replenish an employee’s leave or contribute towards reimbursing an employer who has made a payment to their employee in place of income lost due to organ donation.
  • On 8 May 2017, the Australian Government announced that the Program would continue for four years from 1 July 2017 with some important changes.
  • From 1 July 2017, the program will be expanded to allow donors who are having surgery on or after this date to claim reimbursement for some out of pocket expenses, enabling donors who are not employed to participate.
  • The department is currently updating Program guidelines and forms to reflect these changes. Updated documents will be placed on this webpage from 1 July 2017.
  • If you are undergoing surgery after 1 July 2017 and would like to register for the Program, please provide your details through the Program enquiry form or contact the Program team on (02) 6289 5055, or via the inbox at livingorgandonation@health.gov.au.
The Department of Health has made every effort to ensure that the documents on this web page meet accessibility requirements. If you are experiencing difficulty accessing the information contained within any of these document, please contact livingorgandonation@health.gov.au or call (02) 6289 5055 to arrange for an alternative format to be provided to you.

Program Documents

The following information is for living donors who are undergoing surgery between 1 July 2015 and 30 June 2017.

Eligibility and payment rates

  • To be eligible for the Supporting Leave for Living Organ Donors Program, the donor must be:
    a) an Australian citizen or permanent resident with a valid Medicare card;
    b) 18 years of age or older;
    c) intending to donate a kidney or partial liver between 1 July 2015 and 30 June 2017;
    d) employed by:
      i. a registered Australian business;
      ii. the same employer (or self-employed) for at least 28 days prior (56 days prior for casual employees) to either signing the Individual Registration Form or the date of surgery (whichever was first); and
      iii. an employer willing to participate in the Program and pay them for their time-off.
  • The Program provides a payment of up to nine weeks, based on a 38 hour week, at up to the National Minimum Wage.
  • As at 1 July 2016, the National Minimum Wage is $672.70 per week, or $17.70 per hour, as determined by the Fair Work Ombudsman.
  • If surgery was prior to 1 July 2017, you are unable to claim any out-of-pocket expenses.

Registration

  • If you have undergone surgery between 1 July 2015 and 30 June 2017 to donate a kidney or part of your liver, please complete the Individual Registration Form and return it, and relevant supporting documentation, to the Department of Health via post:
      Supporting Leave for Living Organ Donors Program
      Department of Health
      GPO Box 9848
      CANBERRA ACT 2601
    Individual Registration Form (PDF 395 KB)
    Individual Registration Form (Word 124 KB)
    • Alternatively, you can scan and email a copy to: livingorgandonation@health.gov.au
    • If you do not have access to a printer, call us on (02) 6289 5055 and we can mail a form to you.
    • The completed form should be submitted prior to commencing your leave. Once your form has been received, we will assess your eligibility and notify you and your employer separately in writing.

    Claiming

    • If you are deemed eligible, we will send:
      • to you - an Individual Claim Form, and
      • to your employer - an Employer Payment Form to submit once you have returned to work; or
      • to self-employed donors - a Self-Employed Claim Form.
    • The Individual Claim Form, Employer Payment Form and Self-Employed Claim Form are available to download
    • When a donor has completed their leave and been paid for their time off, the Individual Claim Form, Employer Payment Form (or Self-Employed Claim Form) can be completed and returned with relevant supporting documentation to the Department of Health (to the same address as above).
    • The donor and their employer will be notified of the outcome after all documentation has been received and assessed.

    Change of circumstances

    It is important you tell us if your circumstances change. By keeping us up-to-date, we can accurately assess your circumstances. For example, if:
    • your personal details change
    • you change your address or phone number
    • your employment changes
    • your medical practitioner changes, or
    • you have decided to not go through the donation process.

    Feedback

    The following information is for living donors who underwent surgery between 1 July 2013 and 30 June 2015.

    Pilot Program

    • Living donors who underwent surgery between 1 July 2013 and 30 June 2015 are no longer eligible to apply under the Program.
    • The Program pilot started on 1 July 2013 and ended on 30 June 2015. For that two-year period, the Department of Human Services administered the Program.
    • ACIL Allen Consulting conducted an evaluation of the pilot. The final report was provided to the Department of Health in December 2014.
    • Payments under the pilot were for an amount up to the National Minimum Wage for up to six weeks of leave.
    For general enquiries please email: livingorgandonation@health.gov.au or call (02) 6289 5055.

    The Department of Health has made every effort to ensure that the documents on this web page meet accessibility requirements. If you are experiencing difficulty accessing the information contained within any of these document, please contact livingorgandonation@health.gov.au or call (02) 6289 5055 to arrange for an alternative format to be provided to you.