Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 263171
Loughborough University

Counselling and Disability Service

Disabled Student Allowance

When you have mental health difficulties, you are often encouraged to access treatment, such as medication or talking therapies. Services that provide these types of support are available from the NHS or privately, and the exact configuration or availability of these services depends on where you study/live and the types of difficulties you experience.

You are also encouraged to think about rights, resources or broad support networks. Some students do not feel that their difficulties entitle them to these types of considerations; they may assume that the situation cannot be changed, or that other people's difficulties are much worse or more worthy than theirs. However, if you experience mental health difficulties it is worthwhile talking about these issues with a Mental Health Adviser at the University.

Some students may be entitled to claim extra financial assistance to help with any additional costs they incur as a result of their mental health difficulties, and this page provides more detail.

What is the allowance for?

The Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) is intended to help students experiencing mental health difficulties to study on an equal basis with students who do not have these difficulties.

It is a non-means tested grant that does not have to be repaid at the end of the course. The DSA is specific to funding educational support, and does not mean you are entitled to other benefits nor does it qualify you as a disabled person in a wider sense. Applying for the DSA will not show on your academic or financial records.

The DSA can be used, for example, to help pay for the following:

A mental health adviser, note-taker, or other type of support worker.

Other costs. e.g. photocopying or book allowances, printer consumables, etc to support the specific needs identified or to assist with other equipment.



Students can apply for DSA if they are a UK student, studying a full-time course that lasts at least one year, or they are studying a part-time course that lasts at least one year and doesn’t take more than twice as long to complete as an equivalent full-time course.

Applications must have a medical letter and a completed form, details of which are available below.

DSA application forms

SFE DSA Disability Evidence Form‌‌

It can take a couple of months from the point of application for funding bodies to process DSA applications and therefore it is advisable to send off the paperwork at the earliest possible opportunity.



Needs assessment

Once your funding body has processed your application and established your eligibility for DSA they will write to you asking you to book an Assessment of Needs. You can do this at our Assessment Centre or any other accredited assessment centre.

Once you have had your assessment, a report will be written making recommendations for support and sent to your funding body. They will then confirm the support which will be funded and explain how to go about arranging this.


Search CDS

Opening times

Monday – Friday
09.30 to 16.30

Contact Us

Mental Health Support Team

01509 228338

Urgent Help

We do not provide out-of-hours crisis support and in such a situation you should contact healthcare services

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