What are Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA)?
DSAs provide extra financial help for disabled students. They help pay for any additional study-related costs you incur because of your disability.
DSA might pay for
- assistive technology or specialist equipment, for example a computer if you need one because of your disability
- non-medical helpers
- a travel allowance
- other disability-related costs of studying
Who can apply for DSA?
If you have a disability, on-going health condition, sensory impairment, mental-health condition or specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia, you may qualify to apply for support.
DSA is available to both new and existing students, whether you study full-time or part-time. There is no age limit and they are not means-tested.
When should I apply for DSA?
It can take up to three months to get your DSA support in place so you should apply for it as soon as you have applied for a course. If you are due to start your course soon or you are already on your course, you can still apply. The Sheffield Regional Assessment Centre is able to help you with your DSA application to make it as simple and straightforward as possible.
How do I apply for DSA?
a.) Get suitable medical evidence
You will need to have evidence of your disability before you can apply for DSA.
- If you have a Specific Learning Difficulty (Dyslexia/ Dyspraxia), you will need to provide a full Diagnostic assessment carried out by an educational psychologist, or a suitably qualified professional.
- For other disabilities or ongoing health conditions, you will need to provide a letter/ medical evidence form from your GP or from a suitably qualified specialist.
Remember to keep a copy of any evidence you send.
b.) Complete a DSA application form
You will need to complete a DSA application which you can find on your funding body’s website. You will need to submit the completed form to them with a copy of your medical evidence. Links to the most common funding bodies and information about how to apply for DSA can be found below
- Student Finance England
- Students Awards Agency for Scotland
- Student Finance Wales
- Student Finance Northern Ireland
- Research councils
- Social work bursaries
How will I know if I'm eligible for DSA?
When your funding body receive your application they will write to you to confirm whether you qualify for DSA or not. Sometimes they may require further information which they will ask you to provide. If you do not qualify for DSA they will explain why in writing.
If your application is successful, you will be told to arrange a study needs assessment.