National Assistance Card - Brain Injury Trial (National)

December 1, 2021

The National Assistance Card is available to all people in Australia living with brain injury.

National Assistance Card - Brain Injury Trial (National)

The National Assistance Card was launched for people in Australia living with brain injury on 1 December 2021.


The National Assistance Card Service Project is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.

The National Assistance Card Project will expand and rebadge the Tasmanian based Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) Identification (ID) Card Program to the National Assistance Card Service.

The Brain Injury Association of Tasmania (BIAT), owners of the National Assistance Card Service, have provided the ABI ID Card Program for Tasmanians living with brain injury for over 20 years. The Association are pleased to now be able to offer a national card service to all people in Australia living with brain injury.

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, fatigue, memory, 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?

The National Assistance Card is available to all people in Australia living with brain injury.

In Tasmania the Card is being trialled with the autistic community, and people with other disabilities and health conditions.

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.

Medical documentation must be provided to verify any disability or health condition listed on the Card. 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?

Example of the Front of the Card (above).
Example of the Back of the Card.
Scan the QR code to view an example of written and video additional information.

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

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 contributes to the Card production and helps to pay for information and education resources about the Card.

What if I cannot pay for my Card?

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

If you are unable to pay for your Card, please select 'Other' in the payment section of the application. A National Assistance Card Service team member will contact you.

More information

For more information about the National Assistance Card you can:  

Important things to know about 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.

More information about brain injury support?

Visit our Helpful Links page here, for information about where to get brain injury support in your State or Territory.

A group of people with lived experience of brain injury hold an oversized version of the Card on the stage at the launch of the National Assistance Card in Hobart, 1 December 2021.

Apply For The National Assistance Card

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