Everything you need to know about DSA reimbursement

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.