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HMRC internal manual

VAT Relief for Disabled People Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Disabled Students’ Allowance

What is the Disabled Students’ Allowance?

The Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) is a scheme operated by the Department for Education and Skills to make grants to assist disabled students with the additional costs that they face as a result of their disability. Costs funded by DSA include:

  • taxi fares; and
  • equipment such as computers.

How is the payment made?

Payment is made:

  • direct to the student to purchase goods themselves; or
  • to the local authority to purchase goods on behalf of the disabled person.

In either case, the purchaser of the relevant goods or services is the disabled person.

What does the supplier of goods paid for by DSA need to support zero-rating?

Not all goods and services purchased with DSA funds are eligible for zero-rating, but provided that the supplier can demonstrate that:

  • the goods purchased were designed solely for use by a disabled person; and
  • the purchase was funded by DSA

we should accept that:

  • the purchaser of the goods is a disabled person; and
  • the goods are for that person’s domestic or personal use.