The partnership was launched in a training call with more than 500 Jobcentre Plus staff in attendance.
Director General for Work and Health Services in the DWP, John Paul Marks, said: “We are committed to understanding more about the conditions affecting the people we support on a day-to-day basis and ensuring they receive the best possible support.
“This is why I am so pleased to be joining Headway to demonstrate our commitment to supporting our vulnerable customers.
“The Brain Injury Identity Card will make a positive difference to the way we support these vulnerable customers. The card will help ensure our staff can identify customers who have a brain injury at the earliest opportunity.”
Peter McCabe, Chief Executive of Headway, added: “We are delighted that the DWP has agreed to recognise the Brain Injury Identity Card to help improve identification of survivors and ensure they are treated with compassion and receive appropriate support.
“Survivors of brain injury face discrimination on a daily basis as a result of the effects of their injury being misunderstood. It is vital that staff working for the DWP have a better awareness of the effects of brain injury and how to support them.”
Headway’s Right First Time campaign, indicated that a significant proportion of brain injury survivors were initially refused benefits they were entitled to but this was subsequently overturned upon mandatory reconsideration or appeal. Many felt this resulted from an insufficient understanding of what brain injury is and the effects it can have.
The Headway helpline also regularly receives calls from survivors who have been subjected to benefits sanctions due to missed appointments, for example. However, memory loss is one of the most common effects of brain injury and can result in survivors having difficulty remembering the dates or times of appointments.
Staff in Jobcentres across the country have been provided with information on the ID card and instructions on how to ‘pin’ this information to customers’ records. This will ensure everyone involved in a customer’s support is aware of their condition and the support they receive can be tailored appropriately.Back