Brain Injury Identity Card
A simple solution to a tricky conversation
The Headway Brain Injury Identity Card is designed to help police officers and staff more easily identify brain injury survivors and ensure that they receive an appropriate response and support.
The card can also provide brain injury survivors with added confidence in everyday social scenarios.
Each card is personalised, helping the card holder to explain the effects of their brain injury and request any support they may need.
Apply for a Brain Injury Identity Card
Before you start the application form, please have the following ready:
1. A passport style photo of yourself, ready to upload to the form. Please ensure:
The photo is in colour
The photo is clear and in focus
The photo is without any creases or tears
You are facing forward and looking straight at the camera
Sunglasses are not worn (prescription glasses are permitted)
You do not have a head covering (unless it’s for religious or medical reasons)
2. Verification of your brain injury – this could be a letter from a Headway local group or branch or from a clinical professional confirming the brain injury.
Please note: due to a recent increase in the number of brain injury identity card applications received, it may take up to 10 weeks to process your application and send out your ID card.
Click the button below to begin your application. Alternatively, you can download an application form (DOC) to print, complete and send back to us.
The card is available to anyone in the UK aged 18 and over who has a verifiable brain injury.
About the Brain Injury Identity Card
Why should I carry a Headway Brain Injury Identity Card?
The complexities of brain injury can make it difficult for people to ask for support. Carrying an official Headway Brain Injury Identity Card can provide you with the confidence to know that if you need help, your needs can be easily identified, whether in social situations, or if you come into contact with police officers or other emergency services.
Who can apply?
The card is available to anyone in the UK aged 18 and over who has a verifiable brain injury. A similar card for children and young people is provided by the Child Brain Injury Trust.
I’m not currently involved with Headway. Can I still apply for a card?
Yes. Anyone living with the effects of brain injury can apply for a card.
Which agencies support the card?
The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), which covers England and Wales, Police Scotland, and the Police Service of Northern Ireland all recognise and endorse this card.
What is the number on the front of the ID card?
This number can be called to request criminal legal advice and/or representation from solicitors trained in understanding brain injury, should you find yourself in a situation where you need this support.
I have never come into contact with the police – is this card for me?
Absolutely! The card can be used in many different everyday social scenarios to help you access any support you may need.
What is required?
Clinical verification of brain injury and a photo are required, as well as some information about how your brain injury affects you.
How much does it cost?
The card is provided free-of-charge.
The Justice Project
The Brain Injury Identity Card has been developed as part of Headway’s Justice Project, which aims to:
- Raise awareness of brain injury throughout the criminal justice system
- Improve brain injury identification
- Ensure people with brain injuries in contact with the criminal justice system are treated appropriately and provided with the support they need
- Provide brain injury survivors with access to specialist legal advice and representation
- Divert people with brain injuries away from the criminal justice system where appropriate
Like many people with brain injuries, Tom Birch walks with a slight stagger and has impaired speech. Often it gives the impression he is drunk, and this has led to unfair treatment.
Samuel can often get confused and people struggle to understand him, which is why he’s supporting the new Brain Injury Identity Card project.
Phil often feels under pressure to prove he has disabilities to others and explain the effects or symptoms of his brain injury – which include balance problems, chronic fatigue and cognitive issues.
Nell's brain injury has left her with a number of problems that affect her memory, sight and balance problems. She also suffers from bouts of severe fatigue. She said the card has provided her with a boost in confidence, especially tackling those everyday tasks that people often take for granted.
On 10 April, 2016, Jamie was driving home from the shops in heavy rain and lost control of his car. He sustained a cut to his head and was found at the scene confused and disorientated. Police mistakenly believed Jamie Gailer was driving under the influence of alcohol and arrested him.
A brain tumour left Callum with a number of problems such as impaired balance, affected temperament and limited mobility. These symptoms have brought many challenges, including dealing with the often inappropriate ways people react to his disabilities.
Case studies should not be reproduced without the express permission of Headway - the brain injury association.
"I was being treated like a common criminal"
Dominic Hurley was arrested three times for being drunk and disorderly but in each case he was simply showing symptoms of his brain injury. Dominic now benefits from a Headway Brain Injury Identity Card to help avoid misunderstanding and raise awareness of his condition.Read story