Below are a number of frequently asked questions when applying for the Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA).
- On a full-time or part-time undergraduate course (for example, a degree or HND-level course) including Open University and other distance-learning courses; or
- On an eligible full-time or part-time postgraduate course (which you need a degree or equivalent qualification to get onto), including Open University and other distance-learning courses, that lasts at least one year; and
- Have a disability, mental-health condition, or a specific learning difficulty which affects your ability to study.
If you are unsure about your eligibility you should contact your funding body or your Institution's disability team for guidance.
If you are already at university you should apply immediately, as you can apply for the DSA at any time during your course. If you are unsure about whether to apply for the DSA, speak to your university's disability team.
Process for claiming the Disabled Students' Allowance
1. Submit Application form (DSA 1) & Medical Evidence
Apply to your Funding Body to request assistance with costs of disability related support and equipment.
Timescale: 2 to 3 weeks
2. Authorisation received from Funding Body
You will be asked to make an appointment at an Access Centre where you will see an Assessor who will discuss your needs and make appropriate recommendations for your support.
Timescale: up to 3 weeks for an appointment.
3. Needs Assessment Report Production
Your Assessor will prepare a report which includes a bid for funding for your support costs. Once completed, this will be sent by the Assessment Centre to your Funding Body for their consideration.
Timescale: up to 2 weeks
4. Funding Body Processing
Your Funding Body will process your report and write to you to tell you what recommendations have been approved.
Timescale: 2 to 6 weeks
Once you have been advised what you are allowed to have, funded support can be put in place and any recommended equipment can be ordered.
If you are unsure about how to proceed, contact the Assessment Centre where you were assessed or the disability adviser at your place of study.