Disabled Student Allowance

A Disabled Student Allowance (DSA) can help cover the cost for university students who have either:

  • mental health problems
  • a long term illness
  • a disability.

The allowance you receive will depend on factors such as being a part time student, or how hard your course is. It is given on top of your other student finance.

The amount is not linked to your household income and does not need to be repaid.

What can it pay for

Your DSA can help you with costs for:

  • specialist equipment, for example a computer if needed for disability
  • non-medical helpers
  • extra travel because of disability
  • other disability related costs of studying.

Apply for a DSA

To request a DSA you must do it when applying for your student finance.

If you have already applied for student finance you can still apply for a DSA. To do this sign in to your student finance account to start your application. The application for DSA should be on your ‘to-do list’. If it is not, select ‘change your circumstances’ to apply.

Needs assessment

Once a decision has been made that you can have the allowance, Student Finance England may contact you. They will ask you to contact an assessment centre to work out what help you need.

This is called a needs assessment and is paid for through any DSA that you may receive. You should not book onto a needs assessment until Student Finance England tell you to.

Once your assessment is complete, you will get a report telling you the equipment and support you can have. You must remember to not buy any equipment until you have been assessed, as you will not get your money back.

Your allowance

Money is paid into your bank account, or to the organisation supporting you with a service or equipment.

Find out more about the Disabled Student Allowance on the government website.