Help if you're a student with a learning difficulty, health problem or disability

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Disabled Students' Allowance

Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) is support to cover the study-related costs you have because of a mental health problem, long term illness or any other disability.

This can be on its own or in addition to any student finance you get.

The type of support and how much you get depends on your individual needs - not your household income.

You do not need to pay back DSA.

What you’ll get

2022 to 2023 academic year

Undergraduate and postgraduate students can get up to £25,575 a year for support.

2021 to 2022 academic year

Undergraduate and postgraduate students can get up to £25,000 a year for support.

What DSA can pay for

You can get help with the costs of:

  • specialist equipment, for example a computer if you need one because of your disability
  • non-medical helpers, for example a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter or specialist note taker
  • extra travel to attend your course or placement because of your disability
  • other disability-related study support, for example having to print additional copies of documents for proof-reading

DSA does not cover disability-related costs you’d have if you were not attending a course, or costs that any student might have.

Buying a new computer

You may get a new computer if you’re assessed as needing one because:

  • you do not already have one
  • your current one does not meet your study needs

When buying a new computer, you’ll need to pay the first £200.

The DSA team will send you more information about this after your needs assessment.

Your ‘needs assessment’

Once your eligibility for DSA is confirmed, Student Finance England may ask you to contact an assessment centre to work out what help you need.

This is known as a needs assessment. Do not book this until Student Finance England asks you to.

The assessment is paid for through any DSA entitlement you may have.

After the assessment, you’ll get a report listing equipment and other support you can get for your course.

Do not buy any equipment until you’ve been assessed - you will not be reimbursed for it.

How DSA is paid

Money is paid either into your bank account or directly to the organisation providing the service or equipment.

You’ll find out how your support will be paid to you after your needs assessment.