The next available appointment for a DSA needs assessment is in 3 working days.
Disabled Students’ Allowances provide extra financial help if you have a disability or specific learning difficulty like dyslexia. Their purpose is to assist students who are disabled or have a specific learning difficulty to study on an equal basis with other students. They are available on top of the standard student finance package and do not have to be repaid.
Disabled Students’ Allowances can help pay for:
specialist equipment you need for studying - for example, computer equipment and software
a non-medical helper, such as a learning support tutor, a note-taker or reader
extra travel costs you have to pay because of your disability
other costs - for example, tapes or Braille paper
You can apply if you are undertaking:
a full-time course that lasts at least one year (including a distance-learning course)
a part-time course (with certain conditions)
as an equivalent full-time course (including a distance-learning course)
Both undergraduate and postgraduate students are eligible.
To apply for financial help through Disabled Students’ Allowances, both you and your course must meet some other conditions. It’s worth checking these before you make your application.
To apply, you will have to show evidence of your disability.
If you have an medical condition, illness or a mental health condition, you will need to provide medical proof of this - for example, a letter from an appropriate medical professional.
If you have a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia, you must provide evidence in the form of a ‘diagnostic assessment’ from a psychologist or suitably qualified specialist teacher. If you have had a diagnostic assessment in the past, it may need to be updated.
You will have to pay for any tests to establish your eligibility for Disabled Students’ Allowances. If you need a test but cannot afford to pay for it, you may be able to get financial help through your university or college’s Access to Learning Fund.
If you are eligible for a bursary from the NHS, you do not qualify for Disabled Students’ Allowances from Student Finance England or your local authority. You can, however, apply for equivalent help through the NHS bursary scheme.
You also won’t qualify for Disabled Students’ Allowances from Student Finance England or your local authority if you’re a postgraduate student getting:
a research council bursary or award
a social work bursary from the NHS Business Services Authority that includes equivalent support
a bursary or award from your college or university that includes equivalent support
You should contact the provider of your bursary or award for advice on any extra support you may be entitled to because of a disability.
This is based on your individual needs, but there are maximum amounts for the different allowances.
Follow the link below for details on how full-time, part-time and postgraduate students can apply. You’ll also find information on who to approach if your application is turned down and you want to appeal.
You can get more information about Disabled Students’ Allowances from the booklet, ‘Bridging the Gap’. You can download a copy from the Direct.gov website -