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

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How to apply

How you apply for Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) depends on whether you’re studying full-time or part-time.

Full-time students

If you’ve already applied for student finance

Sign in to your student finance account to start your DSA application.

The application for DSA should be on your ‘to-do list’ if you chose DSA in your application for other support. If it is not, select ‘change your circumstances’ to apply.

If you do not have an online account because you applied for student finance by post, fill in a student finance form (form DSA1).

If you have not applied for student finance

You can apply for DSA when you apply for student finance online.

If you do not need student finance, you can fill in a student finance form (form DSA1) to apply just for DSA.

You cannot apply for student finance online once you’ve applied for DSA.

Part-time students

Fill in a student finance form (form DSA1) to apply for DSA.

If you’re already getting DSA

Fill in a student finance form (form DSA1) to claim back your expenses.

How long it takes

You’ll get confirmation of whether your application is successful within 6 weeks.

It can take up to 14 weeks to get your DSA support in place as this is done separately.

  1. Step 1 Check if you're eligible

  2. Step 2 Find out how much loan you could get

    Find out the maximum tuition fee and maintenance loan you could get if you're a:

    How much maintenance loan you get depends on where you'll study and your household income.

    1. Use the student finance calculator to estimate your maintenance loan

    You'll have to pay back any loan you get.

    1. Find out how much you'll repay
    2. Find out when you'll start repaying
  3. and Check if you can get extra help

  4. Step 3 Prepare your application

  5. Step 4 Apply

    1. Apply online

    You'll need to create a student finance account if you're a new student or sign into an existing account if you're a returning student.

    It can take up to 6 weeks to process your application. You might have to provide extra evidence.

  6. Step 5 Update your details if your circumstances change

    You must update your application if your circumstances change. For example if you:

    • change your course through clearing
    • change where you're going to live - for example with your parents instead of halls
    1. Find out how to update your application
  7. Step 6 Make sure you can be paid

    After you register at your university or college you'll usually get your maintenance loan paid directly into your bank account at the start of each term.

    Use your student finance account to:

    • update your bank details - for example if you open a student account
    • check how much you'll be paid
    • check when you'll be paid
    1. Sign in to your student finance account
  8. Step 7 Check what to do while you're studying

    You'll need to reapply for student finance for each year of your course.

    You must keep your details up to date throughout your course because some changes can affect your loan payments, for example if your household income or bank details change.

    1. Check how to update your details
    2. Find out what to do if you suspend or leave your course
  9. Step 8 Repay your loan