What are Disabled Student Allowances (DSAs)?
If you're a higher education student living in England, you can apply for a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) if you have a disability, including a:
- long-term health condition (such as deafness or hearing loss)
- mental health condition
- specific learning difficulty, such as dyslexia or dyspraxia.
DSAs are paid on top of your other student finance. They help you pay the extra costs you may have because of your disability. DSAs don’t have to be paid back.
If you're deaf or have hearing loss you could use a DSA to pay for extra equipment or support, such as a British Sign Language interpreter.
How much you get depends on your individual needs - not your household income. If you’re a part-time student your ‘course intensity’ can affect how much you get.
Who is eligible for a DSA?
To qualify for a DSA, you must:
- be an undergraduate or postgraduate student (including Open University or distance learning)
- have a condition that affects your ability to study
- qualify for student finance from Student Finance England
- be studying on a course that lasts at least a year.
How much DSA could I get?
If you are eligible for a DSA, how much you could get depends on your needs and whether you are a full-time student or a part-time student. For the 2017 to 2018 academic year you could get a:
- specialist equipment allowance up to £5,358 for the whole course if you are a full-time or a part-time student
- non-medical helper allowance up to £21,305 a year if you are a full-time student, or up to £15,978 a year if you are a part-time student
- general allowance up to £1,790 a year if you are a full-time student, or up to £1,342 a year if you are a part-time student.
Postgraduates can get a single allowance of up to £10,652 a year.
How do I apply for DSAs?
To apply for DSAs, you’ll need to download a form from gov.uk, the government services and information website.
Download gov.uk's A guide to Disabled Students' Allowances. You can also contact the disability adviser at your university or college if you need further advice about financial help.