3. Eligibility

You can apply for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) if you have a:

  • disability or long-term health condition
  • mental health condition
  • specific learning difficulty like dyslexia or dyspraxia

You must also:

  • 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

Who isn’t eligible

You can’t get DSAs from Student Finance England if you’re:

  • an EU student
  • eligible for an NHS Disabled Students’ Allowance (this is a separate scheme)
  • getting equivalent support from another funding source - eg from your university or a social work bursary

Proving you’re eligible

You won’t automatically get DSAs - you need proof of your eligibility.

Condition Proof
Disabilities or long-term health condition Report or letter from your doctor or consultant
Mental-health condition Report or letter from your doctor or consultant - you can also fill in the Mental Health Evidence form (PDF, 60KB)
Specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia A ‘diagnostic assessment’ from a psychologist or suitably qualified specialist teacher - you’ll need to get reassessed if you had this done when you were under 16

You could get help from the Access to Learning Fund if you need a new diagnostic assessment.

Your course

Your course must be in the UK and one of the following:

  • a first degree, eg BA, BSc or BEd
  • a Foundation Degree
  • a Certificate of Higher Education
  • a Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE)
  • a Higher National Certificate (HNC)
  • a Higher National Diploma (HND)
  • a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE)
  • a postgraduate course
  • Initial Teacher Training

Check with your university or college that your course is recognised.

Part-time course intensity

For part-time students, your course intensity can affect how much you get.

‘Course intensity’ means how long your course takes to complete each year compared to an equivalent full-time course. You can check course intensity with your university or college.

The rules are different depending on when your course begins.

Part-time courses starting before 1 September 2012

Your course must not last more than twice as long as the equivalent full-time course.

Part-time courses starting from 1 September 2012

You must study at a rate of at least 25% of an equivalent full-time course in each academic year. The course must last at least 1 year.

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