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Donor Shield offers comprehensive support and protections for living kidney donors.

Cost Reimbursement

Lost Wages, Travel & Lodging

Donors are eligible for reimbursement of lost wages up to $1,500 per week for up to six weeks, and up to $3,000 in travel and lodging expenses for themselves and a caregiver. Lost wage reimbursement beyond two weeks requires additional clearance from the transplant center.

Lost wage reimbursement is only available to donors with a valid U.S. Social Security Number (SSN) or Employee Identification Number (EIN), which serves as proof of legal employment in the U.S. and is required for tax purposes.

Documentation to support income and current employment is required for lost wage reimbursement. Receipts are required for travel and lodging reimbursement. All reimbursements are made via ACH within 10 business of donor surgery (for wage reimbursement) or submission of receipts (for travel and lodging reimbursement). Donors who receive wage reimbursement will be provided a 1099 Miscellaneous Income tax form at the start of the year following the year of reimbursement.

* Donors must participate in an NKR swap or donate at a Donor Shield Direct center to receive this support.

Kidney Prioritization

Prioritization for a Living Donor Kidney Transplant

In the unlikely event that an NKR donor ever needs a kidney transplant, they will be prioritized for a living donor kidney transplant through the NKR. To date, the NKR has facilitated over 5,000 transplants and none of these donors have returned in need of a kidney transplant.

All living kidney donors in the United States are automatically prioritized for a deceased donor kidney transplant in the unlikely event they ever need a transplant, however, living donor kidney transplants have better outcomes and typically last more than twice as long a deceased donor kidney transplant.

* Donors must participate in an NKR swap to receive this protection. Remote direct donation is not considered an NKR swap.

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Voucher Donation

The Future of Paired Exchange

Voucher donation is the future of paired exchange and allows a donor to donate now to help someone in need of a kidney transplant while providing one or more vouchers that can be activated in the future for a living donor kidney transplant. There are two primary types of vouchers: standard vouchers and family vouchers.

By donating through the Standard Voucher Program, you can donate according to your schedule while providing a voucher to someone who is in imminent need of a kidney transplant. The voucher can be activated when the voucher holder is ready for transplant surgery. When the voucher is activated, the voucher holder will be prioritized for a living donor kidney through the NKR. Donating through the Standard Voucher Program allows donors to help more than one person in need of a transplant—the person who receives the voucher and the other patient or patients transplanted in the chain started by the voucher donor.

By donating through the Family Voucher Program, you can donate according to your schedule while providing up to five vouchers for your family members who are not in imminent need of a transplant. Donating through the Family Voucher Program allows donors to help more than one person in need of a transplant—the family members who receive the vouchers and the other patient or patients transplanted in the chain started by the voucher donor.

Remote Donation

Avoid Air Travel for Donor Evaluation & Surgery

Through the remote donation program, donors have the option to complete their donor evaluation and surgery at a local NKR transplant center, eliminating the need for time-consuming and expensive air travel and hotel stays. Remote donation utilizes proven logistics systems pioneered in kidney swaps by the NKR over the past decade to safely transport the kidneys.

There are three types of remote donation: remote standard voucher donation, remote paired donation, and remote direct donation. Remote standard voucher donation is quickly becoming the preferred method of remote donation due to convenience (donor can donate on their schedule) and the potential to improve the match (better transplant outcome) for the recipient.

Donor Connect

Speak with a Living Kidney Donor

The NKR donor intake systems provide the option for every donor candidate to speak with a living kidney donor who can answer questions, offer insights, and provide education based on their own kidney donation experience. Most donor advisors are certified independent living donor advocates and are knowledgeable of all protections and support provided to living donors in the United States.

* Donors must register through an NKR website to receive this support.

Best Match

Maximize the Impact of Your Donation

When you donate through the NKR, you can be sure that your kidney will be matched in a way that maximizes the impact of your donation. This is evidenced by the fact that the NKR outcomes are better than the typical living donor transplant outcomes in the United States in spite of much more difficult cases.

The NKR has the ability to find better matches and achieve better transplant outcomes due to the large pool of living donors, a commitment to research, and system development efforts focused on improving the donor-recipient match, primarily driven by the Kidney for Life initiative. Our goal is for NKR-facilitated transplants to last for the patient’s lifetime while allowing for lower immunosuppression.

Donation Insurance

Donation Life & Disability Coverage

Donors protected by Donor Shield are automatically given a donor life insurance policy and a donor disability policy. The donor life insurance carries a $500,000 principal amount. The donor disability insurance policy covers missed work related to any kidney donation complications that may arise. The disability policy includes up to $1,500 per week in coverage for up to 365 days after surgery subject to the donor’s last 12 months of earnings and a 30-day waiting period.

* Donors must participate in an NKR swap or donate at a Donor Shield Direct center to receive this protection.

Donation Complication Protection

Medical Coverage, Wage, Travel & Lodging Reimbursement

Complications related to donor surgery are rare and are generally paid for by the recipient’s medical insurance. However, sometimes insurance companies try to avoid paying for donor complication costs by limiting the coverage period following the donor surgery, leaving the donor to pay for these medical costs themselves. While these instances are rare, they do happen. Through the Donor Shield program, donors are never required to pay for post-surgical complication costs that are related to kidney donation surgery.

When a donor surgery complication occurs, it may require the donor to take time off work and may also require the donor to travel to address the medical issue. Donors protected by Donor Shield are eligible for travel, lodging, and lost wage reimbursement for treatment of any donation-related complications.

* Donors must participate in an NKR swap or donate at a Donor Shield Direct center to receive this support.

Reduce Wasted Time

Streamlined Systems Make the Donation Process More Convenient

The NKR’s comprehensive, online living donor intake platform streamlines the processes from initial donor registration to post-transplant follow-up. The online registration and screening process allows donor candidates to determine, within five minutes, if they are preliminarily qualified to donate. Donor candidates who do move forward will be able to complete their preliminary lab work at a local lab, allowing clinicians to assess the candidate’s general health and identify rule-out issues before the first visit to the transplant center.

* Donors must register through an NKR website to receive this support.

Home Blood Draws

Eliminate Trips to the Transplant Center

Home blood draws are available through the NKR transplant centers and eliminate unnecessary trips to the transplant center. By having a phlebotomist come directly to your home or place of employment, you can move forward with the donation process without taking away from your personal time or using additional time off work for routine blood draws.

* Donors must participate in an NKR swap to receive this support.

Help Other Donors

Donor Satisfaction Survey Feedback Improves the Process

Donor satisfaction surveys make it easy for donors to provide feedback directly to the transplant centers throughout the donation process. The donor satisfaction survey is delivered via email to the donor upon completion of the workup, pre-op testing, three days after surgery, and 30 days after surgery and is designed to take less than five minutes to complete. Feedback from these surveys help improve the donation process for future donors.

* Donors must participate in an NKR swap to receive this support.