Disabled Students' Allowances

Students on Higher Education Courses who require additional support need to apply for a Disabled Students’ Allowance to fund the support.


Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) help to pay for extra costs that a student might have as a direct result of their disability, mental-health condition or specific learning difficulty. It is additional support available to students who may otherwise be disadvantaged from attending a higher education course because of a disability.


Key facts

  • Available to undergraduates whether studying full-time or part-time (their part-time course must be at least 25% of the full-time equivalent)
  • Does not have to be repaid
  • Does not depend on income: amounts are related to the level of need up to the specified maximum amounts
  • Does not affect benefit entitlement
  • Is not affected by a student’s age



Students may be eligible for DSAs if they have any of the following:

  • A mental health condition, such as anxiety or depression
  • A specific learning difficulty, such as dyslexia or dyspraxia
  • A developmental disorder, such as autism, ADHD/ADD
  • A progressive medical condition such as Multiple Sclerosis, cancer or HIV
  • A sensory impairment which could affect their ability to see or hear
  • Another physical or medical condition


Other conditions not mentioned on this list may be covered by DSAs.


How much is available?

How much students can get depends on a ‘needs assessment’. The table below shows the help available and the maximum amounts for 2015-16.



Maximum Available 2015-2016




Non-medical helper, e.g. note taker, study support

 £20,725  £15,543  Annual

Specialist equipment, e.g. computer software

£5,212  £5,212 Duration of course

General allowance, e.g. photocopying costs




*These figures are maximum amounts – most students receive less


How to apply

Students should apply as soon as they can, as the process can take up to 3 months. Click on Disabled Students’ Allowances to find out more details about the application process.

Students will need to reapply every year for DSAs to continue receiving support.



What evidence is required?

Physical conditions

Report or letter from your GP or consultant

Specific learning difficulties

Post-16 report from a psychologist or suitably qualified specialist teacher

Mental health difficulties

Report or letter from your GP or consultant


Our Student Services Team will provide help and guidance on accessing and completing the application form.


Three tips to help with your application:

  1. Apply now as the application process can take around 14 weeks –you can apply as soon as your make your HE application
  2. Book your needs assessment as soon as you get your eligibility notification. Ask Student Services if you need help with this
  3. Order your equipment and arrange your other support as soon as you get your entitlement notification





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