Your how-to guide on applying for Disabled Students’ Allowance

DSA – your how to guide.

This video is our guide to the DSA process for students applying for DSA via Student Finance.

This short video will give you an overview of the DSA process. We will talk about the four key areas.

  • What is DSA?
  • Who is eligible for DSA?
  • What support can be provided?
  • How to access your DSA support

The DSA is a support grant that you won’t need to pay back. It funds the support that will help you progress and succeed in your higher education studies by identifying studying and wellbeing barriers you may face. You may be eligible for DSA if your ability to study is impacted by a mental health condition, disability, chronic illness, or specific learning difficulty. You will be required to show medical evidence during the application process. Don’t let this stop you from applying. Your information will be treated with the strictest confidence. The general rule of thumb is if you face barriers at university, it’s likely there will be support available to you. Your university will have provisions in place, but it’s always best to begin by applying for the DSA to ensure full support.

There are four main areas of support through DSA. These are:

  • Specialist equipment
  • Non medical helper allowance
  • General allowance
  • Travel allowance

Now you know what support you can get. Let’s talk about how you can access the DSA. Most importantly, you must apply to student finance as soon as possible. Student finance will then take you through the DSA application process. Once you’ve been accepted onto your course, the disability student services team will also be able to support and guide you.

The DSA process is straightforward. We like to break it down into four steps.

  • Apply to student finance
  • Arrange an assessment with a Book My Assessment needs assessor
  • Receive confirmation of support letter from student finance
  • Arrange support

Let’s explore what each of these mean. Step one, apply. Apply online or by paper to let Student Finance know you’d like to receive DSA.

If you’ve already applied for student finance, the application should be on your to do list. If not, just choose the ‘change your circumstances’ option on the Student Finance website. If you’re not receiving Student Finance and therefore do not have a student finance account, you’ll need to fill in a student finance form. Step two, arrange an assessment at a study needs assessment centre. After you’ve applied for DSA, Student Finance will contact you with guidance on how to arrange your DSA needs assessment. You can choose where to attend your needs assessment. It can be online, over the phone, or an in person appointment at your study needs assessment centre.

Your needs assessment isn’t a test, but it’s a relaxed discussion with a friendly needs assessor to discuss your study needs. Your assessor can then recommend various support for you. They will complete a needs assessment report that details this. Your assessor will then send your report to Student Finance. Step three, receive your support confirmation letter. You’ll receive a confirmation from Student Finance letting you know what support you’ve been awarded. This will also advise you on how to arrange your support. Step four, arrange support. Student Finance will send you an entitlement letter.

This is where you’ll find all the information you need to begin arranging your support. You need to contact the suppliers listed in this letter and they will begin to put the required support in place for you. We hope this short guide helps you to understand a little more about the DSA process.