Compensation for loss of earnings

Information about the compensation available for eligible live organ donors, how to apply and the documents to include in your application.

This information is for live organ donors who make a donation from 5 December 2017.

What the compensation is for

There is financial compensation for those eligible live organ donors who take unpaid leave from work to have surgery and recover.

Eligibility for compensation

To qualify for compensation:

  • you must lose earnings while you are recovering from donating an organ
  • the person receiving your organ must be eligible for publically funded health services in New Zealand
  • the live organ donor surgery must take place in New Zealand.

You will not have to use your annual or sick leave unless you need to be off work for longer than the maximum 12-week period covered by the Compensation for Live Organ Donors Act 2016.

If you are unsure whether you qualify, contact your donor liaison coordinator to discuss your situation.

How much you receive

If you are eligible for live organ donor compensation, you will receive 100 percent of your calculated loss of earnings for a maximum of 12 weeks from the date of surgery.

The amount you receive will vary according to:

  • the amount of earnings you lose as a result of the donation (we calculate this as a weekly amount of your verified earnings over the past year)
  • how long it takes you to recover (up to 12 weeks).

How weekly compensation for loss of earnings is calculated


The average weekly earnings of a donor who is an employee are calculated by dividing the total amount of earnings in the 52 weeks immediately before the application date and adjusted for any periods that the donor was not in paid employment or has taken unpaid leave.


The average weekly earnings of a donor who is self-employed is calculated from the donor's total taxable earnings from self-employment in their  individual income tax return for the most recently completed tax year before the application date, divided by the number of weeks in the tax year.

Please note: The calculation of weekly earnings compensation does not include taxable earnings filed in a tax return of a company or trust that the self-employed donor is a shareholder or trustee of.

Applying for compensation


  • You register for compensation with the Ministry of Health while you're being tested to become a donor.
  • Then you apply for compensation for loss of earnings when you have a date for donation surgery.
  • The Act advises that we must receive your application at least 60 days before your surgery date, but where this is not possible, particularly where there is a shorter notice period for surgery, we will accept your application. The Ministry will make a decision as soon as practicable after receiving your application. Please contact the Ministry as soon as possible if you would like to discuss your options. For further information, call the Ministry of Health: freephone 0800 855 066.

Follow these steps to apply for compensation:

1. Read the guide

The booklet ‘Compensation for Live Organ Donors: Information pack’ includes all the essential information about compensation for loss of earnings, how to apply, the documentation required and when payments are made.

For a copy of the guide you can:

2. Register with the Ministry of Health

When you register with the Ministry of Health, you provide us with basic information about you. It’s also useful if your date for surgery is brought forward as we’ll prioritise your compensation.

To register, complete the ‘Registration for loss of earnings for live donors’.

Return the form to the Ministry of Health:

By email:

By post:
Live Organ Donor Compensation
Sector Operations
Ministry of Health
PO Box 1026

If you have any queries or need help completing the form, contact:

3. Apply for loss of earnings compensation

Your donor liaison coordinator can help you with your application. You may need to contact other government agencies (for example, Inland Revenue if you make child support payments, or are an overseas donor) so allow time for this.

The Ministry of Health needs to receive your application at least 60 days before your date for surgery.

If this isn’t possible, you have 60 calendar days after your surgery to apply for compensation.

Complete the application form

Download and complete the application form:

Other documents to include

Check what other documents to include in your application are listed on the page:

Unsure about completing the forms?

If you have any queries or need help completing the forms, you can contact:

Returning your application

We prefer that you email us your application so that we can process it as soon as possible. Return you application to the Ministry of Health:

By email:

By post:
Live Organ Donor Compensation
Sector Operations
Ministry of Health
PO Box 1026

Change of surgery date?

If your surgery date is brought forward, we will prioritise your application so your compensation payments start on time where we can.

If your surgery is delayed for more than 3 months, you will need to complete another Application for Loss of Earnings form. Contact the Ministry of Health for advice:

4. Notification of how much you receive

The Ministry of Health calculates how much compensation you will receive based on the information:

  • in your application and supporting documentation
  • received from your employer (where applicable).

You are sent a letter that states how much you will be paid, any deductions (for example, student loan repayments, PAYE, KiwiSaver) and the date that payments start.

If you do not agree with the compensation amount, you have up to 30 days to contact the Ministry to request a review of the calculations.

Complete and return the Review Request Form form:

The Ministry of Health Internal Review Committee will respond to your review request within 10 working days.

If you are not happy with the Ministry’s response then you can apply for a review which is completed by someone not employed by Ministry of Health.

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