Disabled Students Allowances (DSAs) for learning difficulty, health problem, or disability

Disabled Students Allowances

Disabled Students Allowances

What is offered

If you are suffering from a mental health problem, long-term illness, or any other disability you might have some extra costs regarding your educational and staying plan in the UK. DSA or Disabled Student Allowance will be helping you to cover those extra costs.

Disabled Students Allowances
Disabled Students Allowances

DSA aids can be applied parallel to your other student finance applications. In fact, Disabled Students Allowances (DSA’s) are not repayable.

If you are a part-time student, your course design will affect the amount to be funded as DSA. Your household income is not related to the amount you get in fact your individual need will be prioritized.

DSA proposed for the 2020 to 2021 academic year

 Specialist equipment allowanceNon-medical helper allowanceGeneral allowance
Full-timeUp to £5,849 for the whole courseUp to £23,258 a yearUp to £1,954 a year
Part-timeUp to £5,849 for the whole courseUp to £17,443 a yearUp to £1,465 a year

·         Postgraduates studying in the UK gets a single allowance of up to £20,580 per year.

·         These figures are the maximum amounts – most students get less than the mentioned amounts.


What does a DSA cover?

DSA usually covers the costs of:

  • specialist equipment needed for your disability as like a computer.
  • non-medical assistants.
  • extra traveling costs caused by your disability
  • other disability-related costs for studying

If you already have a computer, you may not get a new one in that case. But it also depends on how much of your study requirements are met through your current computer.

More information will be provided to you once you apply for one.

You may need to pay the first £200 by yourself, which is the minimum cost that any student is likely to incur when buying a computer. To cover any disability-related cost, you must attend a course to get the benefit.

Disabled Students Allowances
Disabled Students Allowances

Assessing your Needs

Student Finance England will confirm your eligibility for DSA and will ask you to contact an assessment center to check your needs. This is known as a needs assessment.

Book the assessment center for an appointment only when Student Finance England asks you to.

Once the assessment is done, you’ll get a report listing equipment and other support you can get for your course of study. If you buy any equipment before being assessed – you will not be reimbursed for it.

How DSAs are paid

Money is paid either into your bank account or directly to the organization providing the service or equipment.

Disabled Students Allowances
Disabled Students Allowances


You can apply for Disabled Students Allowances (DSAs) only if you live in England and have any disability that directly or indirectly affects your ability to study, such as a:

  • learning difficulty, for example, dyslexia or ADHD
  • mental health condition, for example, anxiety or stress
  • physical disability that needs you to use crutches, a wheelchair, or a special keyboard
  • any kind of sensory disability, for example, if you’re visually impaired, deaf, etc
  • long-term serious health condition, for example, cancer, chronic heart disease, or HIV

You must also:

  • be an undergraduate or postgraduate student (including Open University or distance learning)
  • qualify for student finance from Student Finance England
  • be studying on a course that lasts at least a year

Who is not eligible

You cannot get Disabled Students Allowances (DSAs) from Student Finance England if you’re:

  • an EU student
  • eligible for NHS Disabled Students Allowances (this is a separate scheme)
  • getting equivalent support from another funding source, like from your university or a social work bursary

Proving your eligibility

To get DSAs – you just need proof of your eligibility.

Disabilities or long-term health conditionA copy of a report or letter from your doctor or consultant – you can also fill in the disability evidence form (PDF, 65KB)
Mental health conditionA copy of a report or letter from your doctor or consultant – you can also fill in the disability evidence form (PDF, 65KB)
Specific learning difficulty such as dyslexiaA copy of a ‘diagnostic assessment’ from a practitioner psychologist or suitably qualified specialist teacher

A new diagnostic assessment can be provided if you need it.

Disabled Students Allowances
Disabled Students Allowances

Your Study Plan

Your course must be in the UK and one of the following:

  • a first degree, for example, BA, BSc, or BEd
  • a Foundation Degree
  • a Certificate of Higher Education
  • a Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE)
  • a Higher National Certificate (HNC)
  • a Higher National Diploma (HND)
  • a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE)
  • a postgraduate course
  • Initial Teacher Training

Check with your university or college that your course is recognized.

Part-time course intensity

Your course intensity can affect how much you get in case you are a part-time student. ‘Course intensity’ means how long your course takes to complete each year compared to an equivalent full-time course.

You can check course intensity with your institution.

The rules are different depending on your course. You can contact us for the rules applicable in your case.


Application Procedure

For Full-time students

Case 1: If you’ve already applied for student finance Sign in to your student finance account to start applying for your Disabled Students Allowances  DSAs.

The application for DSAs should be on your ‘to-do list’ in your account. If it is not, select ‘change your circumstances’ to apply.

Case 2: If you applied for student finance by post, use the DSAs paper application form.

Case 3: If you have not applied for student finance you can apply for DSAs when you apply for student finance online.

Case 4: If you do not need student finance, you can apply just for DSAs by filling in the DSAs paper application form.

Remember, you cannot apply for student finance online once you’ve applied for DSAs separately.

For Part-time students

Apply using the DSAs paper application form. You cannot apply online.

If you’re already getting DSAs you can Claim back your expenses using the DSAs paper application form.


How long it takes

It can take from 6 to 14 weeks to get your DSAs support placed as this is done separately from Student financing but the confirmation of eligibility will be given within 6 weeks after applying.

Further information
Contact the disability adviser at your university or college if you need advice about financial help.

Disabled Students Allowances
Disabled Students Allowances


For any suggestions regarding the list and UK Student Visa, have a thorough consultation with Academic Education’s professional counselors.

Still, Have Any Questions on Mind?

Regards, Disabled Students Allowances? Please feel free to Contact us (It is free) Or Book a Free Consultation with Academic Education’s expert Advisers.


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