Disabled Students Allowance

Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) is a targeted grant that can pay for additional study related costs which may be present at university because of a long-term health condition, sensory impairment, specific learning difference, mental health issue, autistic spectrum condition or physical disability.

It is administered by Student Finance companies, is not means tested and does not need to be paid back.

DSA can help pay for:

    • specialist equipment, for example a computer if you need one because of your disability
    • non-medical helpers, for example a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter or one to one support sessions with a specialist tutor.
    • Subsidized travel to attend your course or placement
    • other disability-related study support, for example having to print additional copies of documents for proof-reading

Who is eligible?

You are eligible to apply for DSA if you have a disability as defined under the Equality Act, such as:

  • A specific learning difficulty (ex: dyslexia or ADHD)
  • Mental health condition (ex: depression or anxiety)
  • Physical disability
  • Sensory impairment
  • Long-term health condition (e.g. cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome or HIV)

There are other eligibility criteria as well however these are specific depending on what country you are a resident in.

Frequently Asked Questions

I am an international student; can I still get DSA?

Usually, international students are not eligible for DSA but this is not always the case. The only way to be sure is to make an application to the funding body of the country you are living in and they will determine your eligibility.

How do I expand my DSA to cover additional disabilities?

Send your new supporting evidence to your funding body (you do not need to submit a second full DSA application form).

Do I need to reapply for DSA each year?

A full-time undergraduate student with a student loan does not need to reapply every year.

A full-time undergraduate student without a student loan, needs to apply every year as the funding body need confirmation that you are continuing with your course. This will be a form to complete, not the full assessment again.

A part-time undergraduate student needs to apply every year. This will be a form to complete, not the full assessment again.

A postgraduate student needs to apply every year. This will be a form to complete, not the full assessment again.

I would like to change my DSA supplier company to another one, how do I do that?

You can only change your supplier if you have a disability related reason for changing supplier, if your approved supplier does not have capacity to support you, or if your supplier does not meet your needs. Funding bodies usually require students to access three sessions of support from a supplier as proof that the student has had enough time to identify that the support does not meet their needs.

Please use to following websites to find out more about changing supplier depending on what country you are a resident in:

My DSA equipment has broken, what should I do?

Contact the company who supplied your DSA equipment. You will find their name and contact details on your DSA2 letter (sometimes called an entitlement letter). They will advise you on the steps to take for a repair. If it is your laptop that has broken, you can also contact us to arrange to borrow one temporarily whilst yours is being fixed.

Further Information

Last Updated: 22nd June 2022