DSA

Everything you need to know about DSA reimbursement

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Have you just completed your DSA study needs assessment and are wondering how to claim a reimbursement for the cost of any equipment you might need to support your studies? Or perhaps you’ve received a DSA2 letter informing you of your entitlement to Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) but you’re unsure of how the reimbursements work.

Our handy guide shines a light on what the DSA reimbursements are and how you can claim reimbursement of costs through DSA. Read on to find out everything you need to know about DSA reimbursements.


What can DSA provide?

DSA reimbursement

Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) is a form of student finance available to support full-time and part-time undergraduate and postgraduate UK students with any disability-related costs associated with their studies. Whilst you won’t directly receive a monetary payment from DSA, the funding is usually paid directly to the organisation(s) supplying equipment or a service that will support you during your studies.

DSA funding is needs-based, so the amount of support you receive is determined by your challenges, needs and whether your course is full or part-time. For further guidance, read our blog, What Will DSA Pay For?

As a non-repayable grant, you don’t have to repay any of the costs DSA covers for your study-related expenses. You never receive a cash payment, only services from your organisation and equipment and resources, which you get to keep post-graduation. The only exception is the £200 contribution fee towards the cost of a new laptop should you require one. You can learn more about this here.


What is DSA reimbursement?

DSA reimbursement is available to cover any costs of equipment or services deemed suitable to aid your studies, as approved by the DSA. DSA reimbursements are only available for certain items and are dependent on your disability, but some of the things they cover are the costs of printing, ink cartridges and fuel if you cannot use public transport.


What do the DSA reimbursements cover?

DSA reimbursements are generally only provided for support or equipment that was provided after a DSA application has been received or a DSA study needs assessment was carried out.

The reimbursements do not cover the cost of any previously owned equipment before the DSA application.


Can I be reimbursed for a laptop?

DSA reimbursement

If a laptop has been recommended as part of your DSA support and you’d like to select a specific model, you can claim this expense back by following the steps below.

  • Once you receive your DSA2 letter, contact your funding body and inform them that you would rather purchase a laptop privately than through a DSA-approved equipment provider.
  • Your funding body will then advise on the specification of the laptop and what your receipts must show – so hang on to them! 
  • Once you have submitted this information, you can then claim back the amount your funding body was originally going to contribute to the cost of the laptop, excluding your £200 contribution.

Who is eligible for DSA reimbursements?

You will be informed of your eligibility via a DSA2 entitlement letter. To claim reimbursements, you need to have been assessed, been recommended reimbursement for an expense and have had this approved before you can start claiming the costs.


How do I claim a reimbursement?

To claim back reimbursement costs from your Disabled Students’ Allowance, you can download a DSA1 claim form here. Further guidance on the DSA1 claim form, or the DSA reimbursement form, can also be found here

You can only backdate a claim to the date the DSA reimbursement was approved by the funding body, which usually means from the date on the DSA2 letter that confirms the funding for your recommended support. You cannot ask for reimbursement on a cost that arose before you applied for DSA.

If you are still unsure about how to claim your reimbursement recommendations, please get in touch with your needs assessor or contact our admin team on 01633 660 632.


How long does DSA reimbursement take?

The time it takes for a DSA reimbursement claim to be processed can vary, but during busy periods, this will typically take 4-6 weeks from the date of submission.


Are you ready to claim back a reimbursement?

Fill out the DSA application form on the gov.uk website here.


Frequently asked questions

How long does the DSA application process take?

It can take up to 14 weeks from the submission of your application for your DSA support to be put in place. This includes the time taken to sit your DSA study needs assessment and your DSA reimbursement claim to be processed.

How much funding do you get?

DSA is completely needs-based, so there is no set amount. Instead, the amount of funding support you receive is determined by your disability, the scope of your challenges and the support plan approved by your assessor and your governing body.

What do they ask in a DSA study needs assessment?

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We’re here to put your mind at ease

DSA study needs assessment

Here at Access For Students, we’ve assessed thousands of students on their journey towards receiving Disabled Students’ Allowance support. Each student we assess is unique and with their own personal set of challenges, but we always approach each assessment with the same goal: to help you receive the support you deserve to aid your studies.

To get the most out of your assessment, we understand that you’ll need to feel prepared, and understood. That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide to help you understand what to expect during your DSA study needs assessment. By providing you with an insight into some of the DSA study needs assessment questions, the Access For Students team and the application process post-assessment, we hope this will make you feel more confident and reassured going into your assessment. We really do have your best interests at heart, and we’re a very friendly bunch! Have a read through our blog below to learn more about the DSA study needs assessment process from our Study Needs Assessor, Liz.


What is the purpose of the DSA assessment?

The aim of the DSA assessment is for us to work with the student to design a plan of support and adjustments that would help them complete their studies. It’s designed to help students explore study strategies, but also to help us understand the difficulties that they face as a result of their disability, so we can do our best job in making the recommendations of support!


Assessments can be nerve-wracking, is this the same?

DSA study needs assessment

We completely understand how intimidating an assessment can be, but despite the name, a DSA study needs assessment is very informal and you can’t fail, unlike with an academic assessment! Whilst the application process leading to the study needs assessment can feel a little more formal, the assessment itself is really just a friendly chat that’s led by the student. We listen to the challenges the student is facing and then introduce them to DSA support and together, we figure out how those two things can be combined to improve their experience. There’s nothing to be nervous about as we aren’t judging or scoring you, but instead are just getting to know you in person rather than on the page.


How do you help to put people at ease?

 

DSA study needs assessment

Well, we always start our assessments with a friendly chat to ease into the discussion. So, we’ll ask how your day is going, what you’re currently studying and how your course is going. As assessors, we’re always mindful of the challenges a student may be experiencing as a result of their disability and try to gauge them on the day. In this sense, we take a very holistic approach to each assessment and understand each student’s experience, making slight adjustments to the assessment accordingly. 

Once the introductions are out of the way, we’ll explain what Disabled Students’ Allowance is and how it can benefit the student. We’ll also explain what’s happening before we begin each stage of the assessment so that the student can understand the aim of the questions and ask any of their own.


How might students prepare for their DSA needs assessment?

Again, this isn’t a formal assessment so there is no right or wrong way to prepare or answer our questions. But we understand that it can help students to relax if they feel prepared. We don’t expect students to do any formal preparations, but it is helpful if they consider the areas of study they need help with beforehand.

We recommend that students who have received prior support for a disability consider the types of help they’ve received in the past and how effective it was. It’s important to consider the technology they use daily and how DSA may be able to provide you with the right equipment to support your studies. It might also help to talk with other students if they feel comfortable doing so. The Student Room has a helpful assessment support section where you can hear from other students who have experienced the DSA process, so having a read-through there might help you to understand what to expect.


What questions do you ask in a DSA assessment?

It usually follows a set structure which we can slightly alter based on the student’s needs. To begin with, we’ll ask the student to share a summary of their experience with their disability as this encourages us to find areas of their study experience that might be problematic and to begin considering appropriate support.

We ask about any previous support they have received and how effectively it helped, we ask about their course and any equipment they already use, and we also explore their experience of their studies. For example, we might ask how they find note-taking, or how they find the exam experience.

With the DSA needs assessment questions, we try to cover the student experience as comprehensively as we can, so our topics include reading and research, writing assessments, note-taking, assessments, practical activities, general organisation, communication and travel, to name a few. So, under the reading and research question, we’ll be looking to understand how well the student reads, any problems they might experience with seeing the text itself, how they access the library and how they access library books. For the writing assessments topic, we’re interested to know how the student plans their written assessments, if their writing comes across the way they want it to and if they find proofreading a challenge.

As much as we are asking the questions, they’re very open-ended and give the student a chance to share as much information as they would like. We also invite the student to ask any questions they might have throughout the assessment to allow them to direct the conversation towards how we can help them.


How long does it take to hear back about the outcome of the assessment?

Once the assessment is complete, we send our report to the funding body to review and approve and, with the student’s permission, we also share the report with their university’s disability support service. By sharing the report with the university’s disability support service, we can make suggestions to them for any additional disability support we think is appropriate for the student, such as suggesting you may need extensions on essay deadlines and exam time. Please note: these suggestions cannot be guaranteed as this is at the discretion of the higher education provider. Should you wish to read the report prior to it being sent to the funding body, you can let your assessor know during the assessment and we will ask you to check it first.

With all these steps in mind, there is a typical timeline. The assessor has 10 working days to write up and send off the report and once received, the funding body usually takes 10 to 15 working days to process the report. Once the student has been contacted by the governing body, their equipment order is typically fulfilled within 10 days, and their support plan begins to roll out. So all in all, you’re looking at about six weeks to hear about the outcome and begin receiving your DSA support.


When might the DSA study needs assessment need to be repeated?

If a student undergoes a needs assessment at the start of their course, they won’t typically need to complete a review assessment during that course of study, but some circumstances are an exception.

For example, if the student takes a break between undergraduate and postgraduate study, they will need a review to account for any changes and developments they might have experienced during that time. If they also developed any additional conditions, that would also require a review. If any of the equipment supplied as a result of DSA support breaks down, we’d also need a review to understand what happened or why that particular piece of equipment isn’t working for the student.

As a rule of thumb, the DSA study needs assessment should see you through your entire course of study.


What do students need to know about the £200 laptop contribution?

DSA study needs assessment

Whilst all other equipment, services and support are funded by the DSA, if a student requires a laptop to support their studies, they will be expected to pay the first £200 in most instances. An exception to this rule is that the Welsh government doesn’t require the £200 contribution, but all other UK funding bodies do.

This contribution is designed to keep DSA support fair as a lot of students already have some of the equipment they require when they go to university. As technology is now very mainstream, laptops have become expected for all students to complete their studies, so it is no longer considered a disability-related cost as such. The £200 contribution takes this into account, whilst still ensuring the student gets a laptop that will support their study requirements.


Got any questions for us?

We hope Liz has helped to clear up any concerns you may have ahead of your DSA assessment. Whilst today’s blog works as a rough guide for the DSA assessment, we understand that no two students are the same, so each will have different needs and a different set of outcomes from the assessment. We’re here to make sure that they’re the right ones for you. 

If you’d like to speak with a member of the Access For Students team about a query you have ahead of your assessment, please call us on 01633 660 632 or email us at admin@accessforstudents.co.uk and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

 

What will DSA pay for?

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What DSA support can you receive, and what will DSA pay for?

What will DSA pay for

Here at Access for Students, we often get asked what exactly Disabled Students’ Allowance will pay for. We also get a lot of enquiries about what support is available under DSA. We’ve provided the answers to both of these vital questions and more below to help you feel more informed before your study needs assessment. Read on to learn how to get the maximum benefits from DSA’s offering.


What support do I get with DSA funding?

What will DSA pay for

DSA funding is available to support disabled students with challenges they face during their studies as a result of their disability. It helps to cover the study-related costs you incur as a result of your disability.

Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) will not pay for any disability-related costs you’d have incurred if you were not attending a course. It also will not pay for costs that any student (disabled or non-disabled) might have, like rent.

The level of support you receive is needs-based and determined during your needs assessment.


Does DSA give you money?

Does DSA give you money

DSA is not a payment of money directly into your bank account. Instead, it is a source of funding for equipment and services to aid your studies, paid directly to the organisation(s) supplying equipment or a service on your behalf. Following your study needs assessment, you will receive a support package with any physical equipment and be contacted by any support persons. This will be managed through your university based on the support agreed upon with your assessor.


Do I have to pay DSA back?

Do I have to pay DSA back

DSA is a non-repayable grant for specific study-related expenses. You won’t receive a cash payment, only resources and equipment supplied by your education provider, so there is nothing to repay in the future.

The only exception is if you are supplied with a laptop. In this case, you will be required to pay a one-off contribution fee of £200 towards your laptop, but you do not have to return your laptop or any other electronic devices to your organisation at the end of your studies – they are yours to keep.

£200 is the base contribution for all new laptops, but this fee increases depending on the type of laptop you select. For example, if you choose the latest MacBook rather than the laptop recommended by the supplier, this would require a one-time payment of £800.


What proof do I need for DSA?

To apply for Disabled Students’ Allowance, you will first need written evidence from your GP or doctor detailing your diagnosis, such as a letter of diagnosis. This will then need to be sent to your funding body alongside a DSA 1 form.

Following this submission of evidence, you will be invited to complete a study needs assessment. You can complete your assessment with one of our friendly team members online or in person if that better suits your needs. 

The process is designed to help you get the support you need and we’re here to help. Read more about the full DSA assessment process.


Frequently asked questions

How much DSA funding do you get?

For the 2022-23 academic year, students who receive DSA support can receive funding of up to £25,575 a year from Student Finance England and £32,546 from Student Finance Wales. As DSA support is needs-tested, the amount you receive will depend on your circumstances and needs specific to your condition. However, you will not receive this funding in a cash transaction, instead, it will provide support in the form of equipment, resources and human support. 

How long does it take to apply for DSA?

The confirmation of a successful application can take up to 6 weeks, and it can take up to 14 weeks for your DSA support to be put in place. 

Can I claim DSA for a mental health condition?

DSA is available to support undergraduate and postgraduate students in the UK living with specific learning difficulties, sensory impairments and long-term medical, physical and mental health conditions. DSA mental health support is available to cover any study-related costs incurred as a result of a mental health condition. 

To claim DSA for a mental health condition, you must be 17 years old and over and in or about to enter full or part-time further education such as a bachelor’s or foundation degree. A doctor or GP will need to provide evidence of your mental health condition to support your application.

What happens in a DSA assessment?

A study needs assessment is an informal meeting with a friendly assessor to discuss how you study, the challenges you face and the support you think you would benefit from. Your assessor will provide recommendations and together you will agree on the recommended support you’d benefit from receiving.


Contact us

If you’d like to discuss what DSA will pay for in more depth with one of our experts, contact us on 01633 660 632 or email admin@accessforstudents.co.uk.

Claiming DSA for mental health conditions

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Here’s everything you need to know about claiming DSA for mental health conditions

DSA for mental health conditions

 

If you’re one of the 60,000 students with a disability such as a specific learning difficulty, physical or mental health condition applying to study at a college or university in the UK this year, we want you to get the most support you can. Beyond Disabled Students Allowance (DSA), there are various sources of funding available to meet your needs.

We’ve gathered all of the additional funding and grants for disabled students in the UK, as well as details of the eligibility criteria and application process below.


DSA mental health support for students

DSA for mental health

 

We understand that living with a mental health condition, like any disability, can be extremely challenging. This is especially true when taking the next steps toward higher education and adapting to student life, but we’re here to help you get the most out of the support available to you. Our friendly staff are here to share their specialist advice to help you receive the support you need through a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) grant.

DSA mental health support is available in the form of a non-repayable grant to cover any study-related costs you may have as a result of your mental health condition.


What does DSA mean?

 

mental health conditions

 

Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) is a needs-based funding source available to support students with disabilities in the UK. While this grant is not a direct payment of money, it can be used to acquire resources and equipment to support your studies, such as a non-medical helper allowance for a mental health tutor, or more general resources such as printing credit.


Can you get DSA funding for mental health conditions?

DSA for mental health conditions

 

A lot of students with mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety wonder if they are eligible for DSA support. DSA is available to support undergraduate and postgraduate students with specific learning difficulties, long-term medical, physical and mental health conditions, and sensory impairments. If you’re applying for DSA funding for mental health conditions, you’ll need to demonstrate your eligibility by providing a copy of a letter from your doctor alongside submitting a Disabled Student’s Allowance evidence form.

Mental health conditions include (but are not limited to): 

  • Anxiety 
  • Depression 
  • Eating disorders
  • OCD 
  • PTSD

What happens in a DSA study needs assessment?

Despite the official sounding name, a DSA study needs assessment is not a test of any kind. It’s an informal meeting with a friendly assessor to help you determine the best possible solutions to help you overcome study-related difficulties you may be experiencing or anticipate. Based on your discussion during the DSA study needs assessment, mental health support will be recommended by the assessor in the form of resources and equipment that will benefit your needs.

During the needs assessment, your assessor will want to learn about how you study and the areas you feel you may face challenges, such as writing essays, delivering presentations and revising for exams. Together, you can explore the different types of support available, including specialist software, equipment and one-to-one support. This is also an opportunity to ask any questions you might have.

By the end of your assessment, you and your assessor will have agreed on the recommended support you’d benefit from receiving. Your assessor will build on that discussion to create your needs assessment report, outlining all of their recommendations. This will be shared with all the people required to put the recommended support in place, so a copy will be sent to you, your funding body and, with your permission, your university.

After your report has been processed, your funding body will then contact you to confirm which recommendations they agree to fund and arrange the next steps for arranging one-to-one support or ordering equipment.


How to prepare for a DSA study needs assessment

Part of the assessment process involves opening the floor up to your questions, should you have any for the assessor. It’s a good idea to look into the different types of resources available with a DSA grant and consider which you would like to apply for. During the DSA assessment, mental health support can then be discussed with your assessor and they will use their expertise to recommend which resources may be most beneficial to you.


How to book a DSA assessment

DSA for mental health conditions

 

You can book a virtual DSA assessment on our booking page for a video call assessment. Simply select a date and time that works for you, fill in your details and submit your booking request. We’ll then get in touch to confirm your appointment. 

If you would prefer a face-to-face meeting at one of our assessment centres in England and Wales, call us on 01633 660 632 to arrange an in-person assessment with the team.


Frequently asked questions

How much DSA do you get for a mental health condition?

As DSA is completely needs-based, the amount of support you receive is determined by your disability and whether your course is full or part-time. DSA is not a one size fits all approach, so the amount of funding you’re eligible for is determined by an in-depth assessment of your exact needs. It is important to remember that DSA is not a sum of money paid directly to you, but is funding that your supplier receives on your behalf to provide you with the necessary support.

Do I have to fill in a DSA mental health evidence form?

There is no specific mental health evidence form involved in the DSA application process. To provide evidence of your eligibility, you will have to submit a Disabled Students’ Allowance evidence form alongside evidence of your mental health condition, such as a note from your GP or Doctor.

How long does it take to apply for DSA?

It will take up to 6 weeks to confirm if an application has been successful, and up to 14 weeks to get your DSA support in place. We recommend applying for DSA at the same time as your Student Finance Loan so that your funding is in-place at the start of your studies.


Contact us

If you need any further help, contact the Access for Students team. We’re here to help by answering any questions you may have and sharing our expert advice.

Book your DSA assessment here

Grants for Disabled Students in the UK

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Here’s your handy guide to grants for disabled students in the UK

 

Grants for Disabled Students in the UK

If you’re one of the 60,000 students with a disability such as a specific learning difficulty, physical or mental health condition applying to study at a college or university in the UK this year, we want you to get the most support you can. Beyond Disabled Students Allowance (DSA), there are various sources of funding available to meet your needs.

We’ve gathered all of the additional funding and grants for disabled students in the UK, as well as details of the eligibility criteria and application process below.


What do I need to know about university bursaries, scholarships and grants for students with disabilities?

Grants for Disabled Students

Each university offers a range of bursaries, scholarships and grants that are non-repayable. Not only does this mean you can benefit from an additional source of funding during your time as a student, but they also won’t contribute to the overall cost of attending university, so it’s worth querying whether there are any available specifically to disabled students.

These bursaries, scholarships and grants for disabled students may be available to help with the general costs of living and studying or to pursue certain activities, so the specific eligibility criteria for each source of extra funding may differ.


What is Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)?

Grants for Disabled Student

Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) is needs-based funding available to support undergraduate or postgraduate students with specific learning difficulties, sensory impairments, and long-term medical, physical and mental health conditions in their studies and everyday activities.

A DSA grant is available to provide you with equipment and resources, such as a laptop, printing credit and a learning support mentor, on top of your other student loans and you don’t have to pay it back. The amount of support you receive from DSA is determined by your disability and whether your course is full or part-time, not your household income. It pays for any specialist support you require, including non-medical human support and specialist equipment.


Do I qualify for DSA?

If you’re studying a higher education course that lasts longer than a year and have qualified for student finance in the UK, you are eligible to apply for a DSA grant. You must not be eligible for the NHS Students Allowance or be receiving equivalent support from another funding source, such as a social work bursary.

You will need to provide proof of your eligibility based on your condition, from a suitably-qualified Health Care Professional.


What is Personal Allowance Payment (PIP)?

Personal Allowance Payment (PIP) is a non-means tested benefit for people who require assistance in everyday life. As it is non-means tested, PIP payments are provided on top of other benefits, with the amount dependent on the extent and impact of your condition as well as the level of care you require.


Do I qualify for PIP?

You are eligible to receive PIP if you are aged 16 or over and have a disability, long-term physical or mental health condition that impacts your ability to perform everyday tasks and get around.

You must have experienced these difficulties for at least three months and expect them to last for at least another nine months.


What is a student hardship fund?

Hardships funds are emergency sources of funding that universities grant to students experiencing financial difficulty. Once you have contacted your university student services department to request a student hardship fund, your university will determine  whether you qualify, how much money you receive and whether this will be a single lump sum or distributed in instalments.

Though student hardship funds are usually non-repayable, you may have to get a loan that you will have to repay in future.


What is a Special Support Maintenance Loan?

As a disabled student, you may be eligible for a higher amount of maintenance loan than other students. A Special Support maintenance loan is available for anyone who:

  • Receives PIP or Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Receives income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Qualifies for a severe/disability premium in means-tested benefits
  • Is registered blind
  • Is deaf and qualifies for DSA.

The amount of Special Support Maintenance Loan you receive is the same as the Maintenance Grant, but it will not reduce the amount of Maintenance Loan you are entitled to.


Where can I find additional support?

Outside of your university support system, several national organisations offer bursaries and grants for disabled students. We’ve included a list of some of the charities that support disabled people, or those with learning differences, mental health conditions and long-term illnesses below:

  • The Student Health Association offers a bursary to support disabled students in managing their studies
  • The Snowdon Trust offers a grant to meet the disability-related costs physically and sensory disabled students face that are not covered by statutory funding

The Journalism Diversity Fund awards bursaries to assist journalism students from diverse backgrounds with their NCTJ training.


Frequently asked questions

What can you get with Disabled Students Allowance?

  • Specialist equipment, including a computer, printer, voice recognition software and assistive software to help you access a computer
  • Non-medical helpers, such as one-to-one mentors or sign language interpreters
  • Disability-related costs of studying, including hard copies of materials
  • Extra photocopying, Braille paper or a dictaphone
  • Transportation costs, incurred as a result of a disability, to travel to and from your university, such as using private transport.

Can you get PIP and Disabled Students Allowance?

You may already be receiving Personal Allowance Payment (PIP) if you need assistance in caring for yourself and getting around. As DSA is a non-means-tested grant that only pays for equipment and non-medical human support, you can claim both of these forms of support.


Contact us

If you need any help or support, contact the Access for Students team. We are more than happy to advise you and answer any questions you may have about the DSA.

Everything you need to know about DSA student finance

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Here’s everything you need to know about DSA student finance

DSA stands for Disabled Students’ Allowance; it is a government grant that supports people with learning difficulties, health problems or disabilities with the costs associated with studying.

DSA student finance is available to full-time and part-time undergraduate and postgraduate students who are UK residents. Applying for DSA is a one-time process that rolls over into the full length of your undergraduate studies. However, some students will need to reapply; if you are unsure, we advise that you talk to your funding body..

We’re going to talk you through everything you need to know.


Eligibility

You can apply for DSA student finance if you have a disability that affects your ability to study, including:

  • A mental health condition, such as depression
  • A specific learning difficulty, such as ADHD, dyslexia or dyspraxia
  • A physical disability
  • A long-term health condition, such as cancer or diabetes.

DSA student finance isn’t means tested, so your personal and household income aren’t taken into consideration. DSA is granted on a case-by-case basis; two people with the same disability may receive different levels of support due to individual needs. There is no age restriction on who can receive DSA.


What can DSA funding pay for?

DSA student finance can offer support for different aspects of your studies.

There may be specialist equipment or software that you need during your studies, such as:

  • A computer
  • A printer or scanner
  • A specialist chair, table or back support
  • Training to use specialist equipment
  • Insurance for specialist equipment
  • Specialist software, e.g. for screen reading or voice recognition.

DSA student finance can also pay for non-medical help by employing support workers. This includes mentors, note-takers or sign-language interpreters and more. It may also be paid as a general or travel allowance, supporting you with items such as printer cartridges or travel costs.


The assessment process

 

When applying for DSA student finance, the process is as follows:

  1. You start by filling in the DSA application form and returning it to your funding body, along with medical evidence. If you qualify, you’ll receive a letter
  2. Once you have your letter, you can get in contact with us to arrange your needs assessment; you can also book your assessment online. We will also ask you to share relevant documentation with us
  3. You will attend your assessment which involves a relaxed chat with an experienced assessor. After your assessment, you’ll receive a report that underlines personal recommendations
  4. The funding body will review the recommendations, and you’ll receive a letter that confirms that your support has been agreed upon (you will be notified if there are any changes beforehand).

View the full assessment process


Frequently asked questions

How much do you get for DSA student finance?

DSA is needs-tested, so the amount will vary depending on your circumstances. For the 2022-23 academic year, students who receive DSA support can receive funding of up to £25,575 a year from Student Finance England, and £32,546 from Student Finance Wales.

How is DSA student finance paid?

The funding is used to pay for equipment and services that will aid your studies. Usually, the money is paid directly to the organisation(s) supplying equipment or a service.

How long does it take to apply for DSA?

It will take up to 6 weeks to confirm if an application has been successful, and up to 14 weeks to get your DSA support in place.

When should I apply for DSA student finance?

You can apply for DSA student finance at almost any time during your course, but many people choose to apply at the same time as their student finance. Some choose to apply as a pre-entry student, ahead of starting a September course, and you can’t apply within the last few months of your course.


Contact us

If you need any help or support, contact the Access for Students team. We are more than happy to advise you and answer any questions you may have.

Book your DSA assessment here