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Disabled Students Allowances (DSA)


Disabled Students' Allowances are extra money for higher education students who are studying at university or college.

DSAs are not intended to pay for disability-related costs that you would have whether you were a student or not, such as personal care support.

You can find more information using the external links on the right or call the Disability Rights UK Disabled Students Helpline - 0800 328 5050.

'Your DSA' provides a useful DSA “roadmap” which is a visual step-by-step representation of the complete Disabled Students' Allowance process. To view this please use the "Your DSA" external link on the right.

What is a Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) for?

They can provide extra financial help if you have an impairment, health condition (including mental health conditions) or a specific learning difficulty like dyslexia.

They are paid on top of the standard student finance package and don't have to be repaid.

They are aimed at helping people with disabilities to study on an equal basis with other students by helping to meet the extra course costs students can face as a direct result of a disability or specific learning difficulty.

How much you get depends on your individual needs - not your household income.

What can you buy with a DSA?

DSAs can help with the cost of:

* specialist equipment you need for studying - for example, computer software or specialist furniture. Any equipment bought with the allowance belongs to you.

* a non-medical helper, such as a note-taker or reader

* extra travel costs you have to pay because of your disability

* other costs - for example, tapes or Braille paper

How do I apply for a DSA?

In England you need to apply to Student Finance England. You can apply at the same time as making your online UCAS application.

For NHS-funded courses, you need to apply to NHS Student Bursaries for your DSAs.

You will then need to fill in a DSA1 application form and send any additional information asked for, this will include evidence of your disability.

The next step is to have a needs assessment.

This assessment is to make sure you have the best possible opportunity in higher education to show your abilities, make good progress and achieve your goals.

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