Below are a number of frequently asked questions when applying for the Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA).
To access the DSA you will need to apply to your funding body. This will normally be the same organisation from which you are receiving your general student funding.
- On a full-time or part-time undergraduate course (for example, a degree or HNC-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; or
- On an eligible unpaid Sandwich course and
- Have a disability, mental-health condition, or a Specific Learning Difference, 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. Please be aware that Student Finance England’s Student Support Regulations does indicate a time limit for applications for DSA as nine months from the start of the academic year. However, this can be extended, as long as the application for DSA has been made as soon as is reasonably practicable.
If you are unsure about whether or not to apply for the DSA, speak to your Institution’s disability team.
Process for claiming the Disabled Students' Allowance
1.Apply for DSA
Apply to your Funding Body to request assistance with the
costs of disability related support and equipment. Complete the relevant DSA
application form and submit this along with your medical evidence or diagnostic
report to your funding body.
Timescale: It can take your Funding Body 2 to 3 weeks to reply
2. Authorisation received from a Funding Body to have a Needs Assessment
You will be sent an email
or a letter, which asks you to make an appointment at an Access Centre where
you will see a Needs Assessor. During your appointment, your Needs Assessor will
discuss your needs and make appropriate recommendations for your support.
Contact your nearest Access Centre and book an appointment.
Timescale: the maximum amount of time you would need to wait for an appointment is 3 weeks.
3. Needs Assessment Report Production
After your Needs
Assessment, 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: the Access Centre has up to 2 weeks to produce and quality assure your Needs Assessment Report.
4. Funding Body Processing
Your Funding Body will process your report and write to you to tell you what recommendations have been approved. This is called a DSA 2 letter.
Timescale: 2 to 6 weeks
you have been advised what you are eligible for through the DSA, your funded
support can be put in place and any recommended equipment can be ordered. You
will need to contact each supplier to put your support in place. If you are unsure
about how to proceed, contact the Assessment Centre where you were assessed or
the disability adviser at your Institution.