ROCKVILLE, Md. (Oct. 11, 2022) — The American Kidney Fund (AKF) commends Delaware Gov. John Carney for signing SB 301, a new law that aims to reduce barriers to organ donation through tax credit incentives for living organ and bone marrow donors and their employers.
Donors who are Delaware taxpayers can claim a tax credit of up to $10,000 for unreimbursed expenses related to their donation, including medical expenses, travel expenses, lodging expenses and any wages the taxpayer or one of their dependents lost due to the donation of an organ or bone marrow by the taxpayer or a dependent of the taxpayer.
"This new law significantly helps in efforts to encourage Delawareans to become living donors, removing potential hurdles that might otherwise keep them from saving someone's life," said LaVarne A. Burton, AKF President and CEO. "Deciding to donate an organ is one of the most altruistic choices a person can make, and they should not be financially deterred from making it."
The bill also gives a tax credit to Delaware employers who provide their employees who donate an organ or bone marrow with paid time off for the transplantation. The tax credit is 25% of the employee's gross wages paid to the employee during the time missed from work, applicable up to 30 days of missed work for each donation.
AKF has been leading the nationwide effort to protect living donors through state legislation. By enacting SB 301, Delaware joins the 28 other states that have provided living organ donors with important protections and incentives in recent years, thanks to AKF's leadership on this issue.
Increasing living donor protections is a cornerstone of AKF's policy agenda. AKF's State of the States: Living Donor Protection Report Card measures seven types of legislation states should enact to provide protections for living organ donors and encourage living donations, including tax credits like this one. In the absence of federal legislation to protect living donors, there is an uneven patchwork of protections across the nation, with some states providing no protections at all. SB 301 is the third protection for living donors signed into law in Delaware, raising the state's grade from a C to a B. The average grade for the U.S. is a C.
Most transplanted organs are from deceased donors, but patients may also receive organs from living donors. Living donation offers an alternative for individuals awaiting transplantation from a deceased donor and increases the existing organ supply. Transplants from living donors generally have fewer complications than deceased-donor transplants and a longer survival of the donor organ.
There are approximately 106,000 Americans on the organ transplant waiting list and nearly 92,000 of them, or 87%, are waiting for a kidney. In Delaware, 158 people are currently on the kidney transplant waiting list. Of the 25,490 kidney transplants performed in the U.S. in 2021, 1 out of 5 – 5,971 – were made possible by living organ donors. In Delaware, 8 of the 32 kidney transplants performed in 2021 were from living donors. AKF is hopeful that the incentives in SB 301 will encourage a greater number of Delawareans to become living donors.
AKF provides long-term financial assistance that makes transplants and post-transplant care possible for low-income dialysis patients. In 2021, AKF grants helped 1,889 people nationwide receive kidney transplants — 7% of all kidney transplants performed in the United States last year. AKF's program helps post-transplant patients for their full insurance plan year, ensuring continuity of care.
About the American Kidney Fund
The American Kidney Fund (AKF) fights kidney disease on all fronts as the nation’s leading kidney nonprofit. AKF works on behalf of the 37 million Americans living with kidney disease, and the millions more at risk, with an unmatched scope of programs that support people wherever they are in their fight against kidney disease—from prevention through transplant. With programs that address early detection, disease management, financial assistance, clinical research, innovation and advocacy, no kidney organization impacts more lives than AKF. One of the nation’s top-rated nonprofits, AKF invests 97 cents of every donated dollar in programs, earning the highest 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator for 20 years in a row as well as the Platinum Seal of Transparency from Candid, formerly GuideStar.