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Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA)

What is DSA?

Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) is support to cover the study-related costs you have because of a mental health problem, long term illness or any other disability. This can be on its own or in addition to any student finance you get. The type of support and how much you get depends on your individual needs - not your household income. You do not pay DSA back.

Watch the video below to find out more about DSA and eligibility or read more here











What DSA can pay for

You can get help with the costs of:


How to apply

1.     Submit your application

If you’re studying a full-time undergraduate course and applying for other student finance, such as a Tuition Fee Loan, you’ll be able to apply for DSAs from your online Student Finance England account after you’ve submitted your main student finance application.

Sign in to your student finance account here to start your DSA application. The application for DSA should be on your ‘to-do list’ if you chose DSA in your application for other support. If it is not, select ‘change your circumstances’ to apply.

When you apply for DSA, you’ll be told what evidence you need to send to support your application. Make sure you send copies and keep a copy for yourself.

If you have not applied for student finance you’ll need to complete a DSA1 application form. You can download this here when the service opens.

The application process for DSA can take around 14 weeks. You should apply and send Student Finance England your evidence as early as possible to make sure your DSA is paid in time for the start of your course.

2.     Book your Needs Assessment

Student Finance England may ask you to arrange an appointment with an Independent Needs Assessor to find out exactly what equipment and support you need for your course.

It’s not a test – it’s your chance to have an informal chat with a specialist advisor about your disability and its impact on your studies. During your assessment your advisor will work out what you need to help you get the most from your time at university or college.

3.     Get your entitlement letter

Student Finance England will confirm what support DSA can pay for. It will also give you instructions for ordering any specialist equipment or arranging other support.


How DSA is paid

Money is paid either into your bank account or directly to the organisation providing the service or equipment. You’ll find out how your support will be paid to you after your need’s assessment.


Here to help

Our Student Support team are here to help you can contact them on or 01923 812345 for advice and guidance on DSA.


Find out more

Click the links below to find out more: