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Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)

DSAs are grants to help pay the extra costs you may have as a direct result of your disability, long-term health condition, mental-health condition or specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia or dyspraxia. You don't have to pay these back.

How much you get depends on your individual needs - not your household income. If you’re a part-time student your ‘course intensity’ can affect how much you get. See further details of the maximum allowances available for students or look at the Guide to DSAs for more information.

You can get help with the costs of:

  • specialist equipment, like computer software
  • non-medical helpers, like a note-taker or reader
  • extra travel because of your disability
  • other things related to your studies, like photocopying

DSAs don’t cover disability-related costs you’d have if you weren’t attending a course, or costs that any student might have.

Who to contact

Disabled Student Allowances
Extra details

DSAs are administered by different funding bodies.

Most students apply through Student Finance England but other funding bodies have to be applied to if you are, or will be, a:



Who is it for?

Eligibility Details

You can apply for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) if you have a:

  • disability or long-term health condition
  • mental health condition
  • specific learning difficulty like dyslexia or dyspraxia

You must also:

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

You won’t automatically get DSAs - you need proof of your eligibility.

  • Disabilities or long-term health condition: Report or letter from your doctor or consultant
  • Mental-health condition: Report or letter from your doctor or consultant
  • Specific learning difficulty like dyslexia: A ‘diagnostic assessment’ from a psychologist or suitably qualified specialist teacher - you’ll need to get reassessed if you had this done when you were under 16

How to use this service

Referral Required?
Referral Details

DSAs are administered by several different funding bodies. To find out more about DSAs and how to apply please click here. 

If you are currently a student at University, your University Disability Officer / Disability Advisor can aid you in the completion of DSA Applications / Forms.

Once your eligibility for DSAs is confirmed, your funding body will ask you to contact an assessment centre to work out what help you need. This is known as a needs assessment.

Top Tips:

  • Apply as early as possible – in most cases, you don’t need to have a place confirmed at university or college to apply
  • Once you receive notification that you are eligible, book your needs assessment as soon as you can
  • When you attend your needs assessment interview, in addition to the medical evidence returned to the centre, you should give the assessor as much information as possible. You may want to take along any other relevant paperwork you have to help the assessor with determining what will help you
  • As soon as you receive your entitlement notification from your funding body, you should contact the authorised supplier for the agreed support and equipment

Last updated date:
19 August 2021

We strongly suggest contacting the service or activity before you use it. This way you can check all the details are correct and that everything is right for you. Trafford Directory disclaimer


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