Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions and additional information about the National Assistance Card, including costs and how to apply.

About Our FAQ Page

You can read the answers to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below – or contact us if you have other questions.

What is the National Assistance Card?

The National Assistance Card is a personalised card to assist people with brain injury in the community.

The Card assists cardholders to explain the effects of their brain injury, other disability and/or health condition.

It includes key information about the cardholder, their brain injury related difficulties and ways they can be assisted.

The Card can be used in any emergency or everyday situation where a cardholder needs assistance or support.

The National Assistance Card can:

  • reduce the need for cardholders to continually explain the effects of their brain injury;
  • give people with brain injury greater independence;
  • assist people to feel more confident in everyday social situations; and
  • provide peace of mind for families and carers.

Who can apply for the National Assistance Card?

The National Assistance Card is currently available to all people in Australia living with brain injury. People who have brain injury and epilepsy, autism, intellectual disability and/or mental illness are also eligible to apply.

The National Assistance Card Team hope that, in the future, the National Assistance Card will be available to all people living with disability and/or health conditions.

Please note: As part of your application, you must provide medical documentation that verifies you live with brain injury (and epilepsy, autism, intellectual disability and/or mental illness if you have included this in your application).

How do I apply for the National Assistance Card?

People will need to apply for a National Assistance Card using the new online application platform. You can access the application and How to Apply Guides here.

How much does the National Assistance Card cost?

A new National Assistance Card costs $44 (including GST).  

If you need a replacement Card, it will cost $22 (including GST).

Why is there a cost for the National Assistance Card?

The cost covers Card production and helps to pay for information and education resources about the Card.

Importantly, it will ensure that the Card will still be available after the National Assistance Card Project has finished in 2023.

What if I cannot pay for my Card?

Contact the National Assistance Card Service here to discuss your options.

Why should I apply for a National Assistance Card?

You should apply for a National Assistance Card if you would like:

  • assistance to explain the impacts you experience as a result of your brain injury;
  • to feel more confident in the community - knowing  you can show your Card if you get into difficulty;
  • a sense of security knowing your nominated contact person can be called if required.

Why do people only have the option to add Autism, Intellectual Disability, Epilepsy and/or Mental Illness to their National Assistance Card?

As well as providing the Card nationally to people living with brain injury, The Department of Social Services approved the Brain Injury Association of Tasmania to pilot the National Assistance Card in Tasmania for people living with autism, intellectual disability, epilepsy and who may also experience co-occurring mental illness. To facilitate the pilot, these disabilities/health conditions have been included in the purpose-built National Assistance Card online application platform.

People have the option of including other relevant disabilities and/or health conditions in the additional information (QR Code) section of their application.

The Brain Injury Association of Tasmania hope that, in the future, the National Assistance Card can be expanded to include all disabilities and/or health conditions.

What does the National Assistance Card look like?

Example of the front of the Card (above)
Example of the back of the Card (above)

Where can I use my National Assistance Card?

Your Card can be used in any emergency or everyday situation where you need assistance or support. This includes:

  • Shops, cafes, hotels and cinemas;
  • Banks, Centrelink and other Government departments;
  • Public transport such as buses, trains, trams, taxis and Ubers, airports; and
  • With first responders, such as police, ambulance, or fire.

People you show your Card to can read your Card and scan your QR code to learn more about the impacts you experience as a result of your brain injury and/or how they can assist you.

Important

  • The National Assistance Card explains the impacts of a cardholder's brain injury, it does not make a cardholder exempt from the law.
  • The National Assistance Card is a community service, not a legal document.

You can download the wallet sized Cardholder Guide here.

Is the information I provide when applying for my National Assistance Card safe?

All information provided to the National Assistance Card Service is kept private, confidential, and secure in line with the National Assistance Card privacy policy and website terms and conditions.

You can read our Privacy Policy here.

You can read our Website Terms and Conditions here.

Why do I need to provide supporting medical documents with my application?

To ensure the success of the National Assistance Card as a community service it is important the cardholder’s brain injury, other disability and/or health condition has been professionally verified.

As part of your application, you must provide a medical document that verifies you live with brain injury, and any other disability or health condition included in your application.

The documents must be from a medical or allied health professional.

Why is some of the information from my Card being shared with Police?

Police have many different roles in our community including:

  • Preventing anti-social behaviour;
  • Dealing with community safety concerns;
  • Attending accidents;
  • Investigating crime;
  • Dealing with drug and alcohol affected people; and
  • Attending critical incidents and emergencies.

They also undertake many other tasks such as:

  • Building positive relationships with community groups and members;
  • Visiting schools and interacting with students;
  • Attending community events; and 
  • Talking to and assisting vulnerable members of the community.

The Brain Injury Association of Tasmania is working with Police in all States and Territories to ensure they are aware of, and informed about, the National Assistance Card. 

National Assistance Card cardholders will have a flag added to a personal identity record in their State orTerritory Police database. This means that, should Police be contacted for any reason regarding a cardholder, they will be able to access cardholder information prior to attending the call-out.  Because Police will know in advance how a cardholder’s brain injury impacts them, what supports they may require, and who their nominated contact person is (should this be required),they will be able to provide an informed and considered response. 

Please Note: The only information provided to Police is your: name, date of birth, address, areas of difficulty, QR code additional information, and contact person’s name and phone number.  Police in each State and Territory will sign an agreement with the Brain Injury Association of Tasmania (owners of the National Assistance Card Service) that they will only use National Assistance Card information provided to them if it is reasonably necessary for their work.

 You can also show Police and/or other emergency services (ambulance, fire) your Card should you need assistance.

What should I do if I’m shown a National Assistance Card?

  • Read the Card
  • Ask the cardholder how you can assist them
  • Use clear, concise language
    (not loud and slow)
  • Be friendly and respectful
  • Scan the QR code, if requested or required, to find out more information
  • Call the cardholder’s nominated contact person, if requested or required
  • Assist the cardholder to access emergency support if requested or required, eg. ambulance or police

Your understanding and assistance is appreciated.

You can download the Community Assistance Guide here.

I have lost my National Assistance Card. What should I do?

Contact the National Assistance Card Service here.

Please provide your full name and contact details (phone number and email).  

I have found a National Assistance Card. Where can I return it?

You can return the Card to:

National Assistance Card Service
PO Box 4580
Bathurst Street Post Office
Hobart TAS 7000

Or contact us here for more information.

I have a Tasmanian ABI ID Card/Brain Injury Assistance Card. What do I need to do?

The National Assistance Card has replaced the Tasmanian ABI ID Card Program.

You can apply for a National Assistance Card here or contact us here for more information about how to transition to the new Card.

What is brain injury?

Brain injury is defined as any damage or injury to the brain, occurring after birth, resulting in ongoing impairments. (The definition also includes Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder which is brain damage caused by alcohol exposure before birth).

Common causes of brain injury include motor vehicle crashes, assaults, sporting accidents, stroke, lack of oxygen to the brain, brain tumours and degenerative neurological conditions.

The ongoing impairments a person may have could be physical, cognitive, emotional and/or behavioural.

Many of the effects of brain injury are not visible; this doesn’t make the impacts any less real.

Every brain injury is different.

Where can I get information and support for brain injury, autism, epilepsy, intellectual disability, and mental illness?

Visit the Helpful Links section of our website to find local and national service providers. Click here.

How do I find out more about the Assistance Card?

If you have a question about the National Assistance Card – please fill in our Contact Form; a member of the National Assistance Card Team will respond to your question.

You can complete the Contact Form here.

Apply For The National Assistance Card

Applications for the National Assistance Card are now available online through the secure application portal.
How To Apply →