Extra financial help for students with specific learning difficulties, a long term health problem, or disability

Disabled Students Allowance

A recent report from the Department for Education in England, revealed that 60% of eligible students had never heard of the Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA) and could be missing out on extra financial help.

The reason could be because of a lack of awareness of what is considered to be a disability and many students who might be eligible might not identify as such. The Disabled Students' Allowance or DSA provides extra financial support for students who have additional needs to facilitate their learning. The term disability in this context can cover a wide range of needs and can be used to pay for the extra costs you have because of a mental health problem, long term illness or any other disability.

You’re disabled under the Equality Act 2010 if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities. This can also include progressive conditions, but does not include conditions like addiction to alcohol or non-prescription drugs.

Your condition must be something that affects your ability to study for example

  • Learning difficulties such as dyslexia, dyspraxia or ADHD
  • Mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression
  • Physical disability, for example if you’re partially sighted or have to use crutches
  • Long-term health conditions such as cancer, chronic heart disease or HIV

What can the DSA be used for?

You can get help with the following 

  • specialist equipment, for example a computer if you need one because of your disability
  • specialist mentoring or support
  • non-medical helpers
  • extra travel because of your disability
  • other disability-related costs of studying

Who is eligible?

In order to be eligible for the DSA, you need to be a UK student on an undergraduate or postgraduate student who qualifies for student finance and you are on a course that lasts longer than one year.

How much you might get

The amount you get will vary depending on your requirements and whether you are full time or part time but it could be up to £30,000

Proving your eligibility

When you make your application you will need to provide proof the your disability. This will be in the form of a letter or report from your doctor, consultant or specialist teacher.

How to apply

Applying for the DSA is part of your Student Finance application and can be done online, unless you are a part time student. If you do not need to apply for student Finance, you can make a stand alone application for the DSA.

To find out more visit https://www.gov.uk/disabled-students-allowances-dsas

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