In Tasmania the National Assistance Card is being trialled with the autistic community.
National Assistance Card Autism Trial (Tasmania)
The National Assistance Card Service and Autism Tasmania are pleased to announce the September 2022 launch of the National Assistance Card Autism Trial (Tasmania). The Autism Trial expands the eligibility requirements for the Card to a new cohort - the Tasmanian autistic community.
The National Assistance Card welcomes Autism Tasmania as the first partner organisation to trial the Card.
What is the National Assistance Card?
The National Assistance Card is a personalised Card to assist people with disability and health conditions in the community.
The National Assistance Card can:
- Help cardholders communicate their unique areas of difficulty and the assistance they may need
- Give cardholders greater independence
- Assist cardholders to feel more confident in everyday social situations
- Provide peace of mind for families and carers
- Enhance community understanding of disability and health conditions
- Support positive community interaction with cardholders.
What does the Card include?
The National Assistance Card includes a cardholder’s:
- First and last name
- Photo and date of birth
- Nominated contact person’s name and phone number
(A cardholder can choose if this person is contacted).
Also printed on the Card:
- Up to five areas of difficulty chosen by the cardholder
(for example: communication, sensory overload, processing information)
- A QR code providing access to additional information (written or personalised video) that the cardholder has chosen to include
- The Police Assistance Line phone number.
Who can apply for a National Assistance Card?
In Tasmania the autistic community can apply for a National Assistance Card.
The Card is also available to all people in Australia living with brain injury.
The National Assistance Card Service hope that, in the future, the Card will be available to all people in Australia with disability and health conditions.
You can read more about who is eligible for the National Assistance Card here.
Supporting documentation must be provided to verify any disability or health condition included in the application. The document must be from a medical or allied health professional and just needs to include the disability or health condition diagnosis, it does not need to go into detail. This documentation is uploaded as part of the application process.
What does the Card look like?
Where can the National Assistance Card be used?
The National Assistance Card can be used in everyday or emergency situations.
Examples of where a cardholder may choose to use their Card include:
- Shops, cafes, hotels and cinemas
- Banks, Centrelink and other Government departments
- Transport, such as airports, buses, trains, trams, taxis and Ubers
- With family, friends and work colleagues
- With first responders, such as police, ambulance or fire.
People can read your Card and scan your QR code to learn more about how they can assist you.
Why and how to show people your National Assistance Card
There are many reasons why you may choose to show your Card:
- To communicate your needs (for example needing extra time to complete an activity or task)
- Because you are feeling overwhelmed, confused, disorientated or unsafe.
You may choose to show other people:
- The front of your Card only.
This means you would appreciate understanding and patience while you communicate the assistance you require.
- Both the front and back of your Card.
The back of the Card includes some of the areas where you have difficulty, and a QR code which, when scanned with a mobile phone, may link to additional information.
The National Assistance Card explains a cardholder’s unique areas of difficulty. It does not make a cardholder exempt from the law.
The National Assistance Card is a community service. It is not an official identity card or legal document.
How to Apply
Visit our How to Apply page here to access:
- The online application
- Written and video How to Apply guides.
To help with the application, we recommend applicants:
- Read the ‘How to Apply’ guides on the website
- Watch the ‘How to’ videos in the application
- Ask a family member, friend or support worker to help with the application.
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 disability and/or health condition has been professionally verified.
As part of the application, you must provide medical documentation to verify any disability or health condition you choose to list on your Card.
The documents must be from a medical or allied health professional and need to include your name and disability or health condition diagnosis. The documents do not need to go into detail.
We accept letters, reports, and certificates from the following professionals:
- General practitioner (GP)
- Medical specialist (for example, neurologist)
- Clinical neuropsychologist or psychologist
- Allied health practitioner (for example a physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech pathologist).
A scan or photo of the document can be uploaded directly to the application, or you can email or post the document to the National Assistance Card Service.
Please know that:
- Your supporting document is only accessed by the National Assistance Card team to assess your application eligibility.
I do not have a supporting document to verify I am autistic – can I still apply?
Supporting documentation to verify your disability or health condition is a current requirement for the National Assistance Card.
You cannot apply if you do not have a supporting document to verify your disability or health condition.
However – if you are interested in the Card - even if you are not eligible – we still want to hear from you!
The National Assistance Card Service acknowledge that not everyone will have supporting documentation to verify their disability or health condition.
We hope that, in the future, the Card will be available to all people in Australia with disability and health conditions.
It is important for us to document how many people experience challenges with providing evidence of their disability or health condition.
Your feedback will help us to review eligibility requirements as part of our evaluation of the National Assistance Card.
If you do not have supporting documents to evidence your disability or health condition, please:
How much does the National Assistance Card cost?
- A new National Assistance Card costs $44.00
- A replacement Card costs $22.00 (only required if the Card is lost or the information on the Card needs to be changed)
(Prices inc. GST).
The cost of the Card contributes to the Card production and helps to help for information and education resources about the Card.
If the applicant has a self or plan managed NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) plan, they may be able to claim the cost of the Card from their plan. Other Insurance Funders or Service Providers may also cover the cost of the Card – the applicant will need to contact that organisation directly to confirm this.
If the applicant is unable to pay for the Card due to financial or social hardship, they can select ‘other’ on the payment screen and the National Assistance Card Service will contact them to discuss further.
For more information about the National Assistance Card:
Important things to know about autism
- Autism is a neurological and developmental condition that occurs when the brain develops differently.
- Autism affects the way people sense, communicate, behave and interact with the world.
- While there are some common autistic traits, people experience autism in different ways.
- All, some, or none of a person’s autistic traits may be obvious to others or only noticeable in difficulty settings.