How to apply for Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)

1. Evidence

To apply for DSA the first step is to understand what evidence is required.

The evidence required is dependent on your home address and your condition. The best way to do this is by having a look at your home address' student finance websites.

Evidence needs to be from a professional that holds an appropriate professional qualification to make a diagnosis. 

In general, any long-term health, mental health condition or disability will require a report or letter from your doctor or consultant. There is medical evidence form that the doctor or consultant can complete if you do not have a report or letter. Please be aware that GPs are entitled to charge for evidence.

For Specific Learning Difference such as Dyslexia, a diagnostic report performed by a suitably qualified professional will be required. This is usually an Educational Psychologist or someone holding a Specialist Teacher Assessor’s qualification but depending on where you are a resident this might change.

2. Check your government's website

Make sure to look at the government’s website to ensure you have the right evidence.

You can find details of these here:

If you have Research Council funding you should discuss DSA with Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity.

3. Application Form

After collecting your diagnostic paperwork, you will need to complete a DSA application form and send this to your funding body.

There are no fixed deadlines for applying for DSA, however once the academic year has started you have up to nine months to apply for DSA for the current academic year.

If you need section 5 of your DSA application to be completed by the University you can bring this to Student Services and we can complete this for you. Alternatively, you can send it to your funding body directly unsigned and they will then email the University to confirm the missing information, allowing your application to be processed.

4. Needs Assessment

Once your application has been approved DSA will invite you to book a Needs Assessment.

There will be information is your DSA approval letter about how to find an assessment centre and book your assessment. The Needs Assessment is paid through your DSA, you do not have to pay for this yourself.

The Needs Assessor will meet and discuss with you how your health/disability may impact on your studies and suggest options for support with these.

After your meeting, your Assessor will write a report outlining what support they recommend. You will get a copy and it will be sent to your funding body for them to consider the recommendations.

5. Support Confirmation

DSA will write you a letter (via email and/or post) outlining the support that has been approved for you.

This letter is called a DSA2 letter. 

6. Arrange your support

You are responsible for arranging the support approved in your DSA2 letter. The approved companies/service provides will not contact you first.

Last Updated: 7th February 2024