Image result for help for disabled students

The Disabled Student Allowances (DSA) provides extra financial support in the UK if you are a student with an impairment, health condition (including mental health) or a specific learning difficulty (such as dyslexia).

The common phrase that gets thrown around DSA land is that the Disabled Student Allowance is there to “help put a student with a disability on a level playing field with a student who doesn’t have a disability.”

To be considered you must meet the definition of disability under the Equality Act 2010.  This includes things like a long term health conditions, mental health conditions and specific learning difficulties (like dyslexia).

If you do have a disability it’s definitely worth applying for the DSA as you could receive specialist equipment like a laptop, printer, assistive software, travel costs, accommodation costs and 1 to 1 support from a mentor or study skills tutor.

To apply you must first obtain evidence of your disability.  If you have a specific learning difficulty, then you will need to get an Educational Psychologist’s report carried out. For other conditions you need a letter from your doctor explaining how your condition affects you on a day to day basis.

Once you have evidence of a disability then you can apply for the disabled student allowance (DSA).

There are two types of forms that you can complete. The DSA1 full form and the DSA1 Slim Line Form. You should only complete one form, not both!

What’s the difference between the forms?

DSA1 Full – The DSA1 Full form is for students who are not applying for other funding such as a student loan or grant. Basically students who will be in receipt of only the DSA from Student Finance England.

DSA Slimline – The DSA Slim line form should be completed if you are applying for, or are already in receipt of other funding from Student Finance such as a Student Loan or Grant.

So to apply…

1) To begin your application process go here  

2) Download and fill in the appropriate form.

3) Attach a copy of the evidence you got in step one.

4) Email the form and evidence to

After this is complete just wait up to 10 working days for Student Finance England to process your information.

If successful, you will receive your DSA eligibility letter by email and post. This is also known as your DSA1 letter.

Your DSA1 letter will confirm which conditions you have been approved for and will advise you to now book an assessment at a DSA assessment centre.

The needs assessment is nothing to be worried about. The assessor will put you at ease and demonstrate what type of support will best suit your specific needs.

After your assessment the assessor will send recommendations to student finance for things like equipment and non-medical help. After another 10 working days you should receive your DSA entitlement letter and you will be able to put your support in place.

Your DSA Entitlement letter (DSA2 letter) will clearly list all of the support that has been approved for you and who the agreed suppliers of that support are. You should read through the letter a few times to get a clear understanding and then you just need to contact the agreed suppliers.

Good luck and if you have any questions get in touch with our friends at A2B Assessments.