Who Is Eligible?

If you are a student in higher education, live in England, and have:

  • A long term physical or mental health condition
  • A specific learning difficulty such as Dyscalculia, Dyslexia, ADD or ADHD
  • A disability

You may be eligible for Disabled Students' Allowance. There is no fixed rate payment for Disabled Students' Allowance, instead the amount you receive will be determined by assessment of your individual needs. DSA payments are not means tested and will be paid in addition to your normal student finance, they do not have to be repaid.

How Do I Apply For Disabled Students' Allowance?

To apply for DSA, you will need to fill in form DSA1 which can be downloaded from the gov.uk website here. Once the form is completed, return it to Student Finance England, together with your supporting documentation.

What Supporting Documentation Do I Need To Provide?

The type of supporting documentation is dependant on the nature of your disability, health condition, or specific learning difficulty:

Long Term Health Condition, Disability, or Mental Health Condition
You will need to provide a medical statement from your doctor or appropriate specialist which confirms the nature of your long term health condition, disability, or mental health condition.

Specific Learning Difficulty
You must provide a full diagnostic assessment that was carried out by a suitably qualified specialist or psychologist. If the assessment was carried out before your sixteenth birthday, it will normally need to be updated so that Student Finance England are able to accurately assess the impact your learning difficulty will have on your studies.

What Next?

You will receive a letter from Student Finance England about your application for Disabled Student Allowance. If your application has been successful, the next step is to book a Needs Assessment Appointment. Be sure to keep the letter from Student Finance England, safe, and to bring it to your needs assessment appointment with you.

The needs assessment appointment is an opportunity to review issues and to discuss strategies to enable you to engage with your course more effectively.  Such strategies can include use of equipment and software; access to specialist human support to learn new approaches to study for easy and exciting access to learning (eg, assistive technology training, specialist learning support, mentoring). Sign Language Interpreting and Notetaking are examples of various Education Support Services available to facilitate real access to study.

Following the assessment appointment, your assessor will produce a report (Needs Assessment Report – NAR) summarising and confirming what has been discussed. A copy of this report will be sent to you, to your funding body and to the Disability Team at your university (with your approval). Student Finance England normally reply within fifteen working days of receiving our report to confirm the support they agree to fund.