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 DSA can help to cover the aspects of studying which your disability impacts, including both the physical and mental demands of university.
You are eligible to apply for a DSA grant if you have a disability that affects your ability to study, such as a learning difficulty, such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, or ADHD
Your DSA fund will help to cover:
Day-to-day costs of studying which are related to your disability.
- Specialist equipment such as a computer* or disability-related software. Any equipment bought must have been included in the report from your Study Needs Assessment.
- A non-medical helper such as a British Sign Language interpreter. This person can’t be a friend or family member.
Your DSA fund will also cover a non-medical helper allowance. This is to help pay for support workers (such as readers, sign language interpreters, or note-takers) and other non-medical assistants you need to benefit fully from your course.
*You may be able to get a new computer if you don’t already have one, or if your current one doesn’t meet the required specification. You’ll need to make a contribution of £200 towards the cost of any computer.
You may also be able to cover travel** allowances with your DSA funding. This helps with any extra travel costs you may have to attend your university, college, or placement because of your disability. The amount you get will depend on your disability.
**For 2022 to 2023 there are some exceptions for students who may need more travel support.
To qualify, you must also:
Be a UK resident
- Be an undergraduate or postgraduate student on a course that lasts at least a year (including part-time, Open University and distance learning courses)
- Qualify for Student Finance
- Be studying on a full-time or part-time course that lasts at least one year
DSA funds can be paid out in various ways, but it will either be paid to you as reimbursement or directly to the company providing the equipment or service.
Depending on where you are based in the UK, the amount of funding you could be entitled to will vary. The total amount you'd receive would be based on how much your disability advisor recommends for you, following your study needs assessment.
This is a guideline on the general criteria for DSA applications in the UK. To see the specific eligibility criteria for your part of the UK, visit gov.uk