You are here: Information > Teenagers & Students > Student Basics > Disabled Students Allowance
Sponsor links
Email Bookmark and Share

Disabled Students Allowance Application Process

Disabled Students AllowanceHow to apply for the Disabled Students Allowance.

What is the Disabled Student's Allowance?

It is available for UK students with disabilities (including dyslexia) who are undertaking full time courses in Higher Education. Part-time students, studying on a designated part-time higher education course are also eligible for DSAs, as are post graduate students. Nursing and Midwifery Diploma students are also eligible - there is specific information for Healthcare students. Open University students also have their own scheme. The award is intended to cover any extra costs or expenses a student may have to meet whilst studying, that arise because of a disability. DSAs do not depend on your or your parents' income and there is no upper age limit.

Disabled Students Allowance Applications

Updated 27th January 2009

This information refers to applications for the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) for students going into Higher Education for 2009/2010.

This year there are changes to the process for new applicants.

The Local Education Authorities will not be directly involved in the processing : applications will go via “Student Finance Direct”.

You will still need to provide evidence of your disability or dyslexia as before (typically an Educational Psychologist's report or update).

  1. You will need to complete a form: DSA 1

These will be available in mid Feb 2009 Along with guidance notes for completing the form at www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinance

In 2009/2010 continuing students will have their DSA’s processed by their LA (Local Authorities).

But for new applicants the DSA application will not be processed by their LA it will be dealt with by “Student Finance Direct”.

Please note that from spring 2009 there are also some changes to “Student Finance Direct” will be renamed “Student Finance England”.

For students in Wales Scotland and Northern Ireland the websites remain the same:

It seems at the time of writing this that the organisations involved, including direct.gov.uk, have yet to update the information on their websites.

If you are planning to make an application for DSA for 2009/10 it is recommended that you keep checking for updates and instructions on both wwww.direct.gov.uk/studentfinance and www.studentfinanceengland.co.uk (or your relevant country site).

The DFES will also changing in the Spring and will become DIUS (The Department for Innovation Universities and Skills). Their new website explains: “This new Department brings together functions from two former departments. Science and innovation responsibilities from the Department of Trade and Industry. Skills, further and higher education from the Department for Education and Skills.” www.dius.gov.uk

Allowances for full-time and part-time higher education students

Maximums for full-time and part-time higher education students: 2009/2010 
 

Type of allowance Full-time students Part-time students
Specialist equipment £5,161 for entire course £5,161 for entire course
Non-medical helper £20,520 a year £15,390 a year (depends on intensity of course)
General Disabled Students' Allowances  £1,724 a year  £1,293 a year (depends on intensity of course)


 

Maximums for full-time and part-time higher education students: 2008/2009
 

Type of allowance Full-time students Part-time students
Specialist equipment £5,030 for entire course £5,030 for entire course
Non-medical helper £20,000 a year £15,000 a year (depends on intensity of course)
General Disabled Students' Allowances £1,680 a year £1,260 a year (depends on intensity of course)


Allowances for postgraduate students

Postgraduate students (including Open University students and other distance learners) can apply for a single allowance to cover all costs.

The maximum allowance for 2009/2010 is £10,260. For 2008/2009 it is £10,000.

How they are paid

The money will either be paid into your account or directly to the supplier of the services - for example your university, college or equipment supplier.

Effect on other financial help

Disabled Students' Allowances are not counted as income when working out your entitlement to benefits or tax credits.