Applying for DSA

If you are studying in higher education, and have a disability/specific learning difficulty you may be eligible for Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs).

DSA is available from your funding body and pays for the additional support that students need for university. Our experience shows that students really benefit from the support of DSA

You should apply for Disabled Students' Allowance as soon as possible. You don't have to wait until you have a confirmed place at University/College, however you can still apply at any stage of your course.

You can contact a Disability Adviser at your chosen university or college if you require any assistance filling in your application

How do I apply For Disabled Students’ Allowance?

To apply for DSA, you will need to fill in form DSA1 which can be downloaded from the DSA Application Forms section. Once the form is completed, return it to your funding body, together with your supporting document.

Where do I apply?

Depending on where you currently live, you should apply to one of the following agencies for DSAs:

  • In England apply to Student Finance England. You can apply at the same time as making your online UCAS application. For NHS-funded courses, you need to apply to NHS Student Bursaries for your DSAs.
  • In Wales apply to Student Finance Wales, or NHS Wales Student Awards Unit for NHS funded courses.
  • In Scotland apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for any course.
  • In Northern Ireland apply to Student Finance England or your local Education and Library Board (ELB). For NHS-funded courses contact the Bursary Administration Unit.

What supporting documentation do I need to provide?

The type of supporting documentation is dependent on the nature of your disability, health condition, or specific learning difficulty

Long Term Health Condition, Disability, or Mental Health Condition

You will need to provide a medical statement from your doctor or appropriate specialist which confirms the nature of your long term health condition, disability, or mental health condition.

If you are unsure whether the evidence you have is acceptable, please contact us for advice.

Specific Learning Difficulty

You must provide a full diagnostic assessment that was carried out by a suitably qualified specialist or psychologist. If the assessment was carried out before your sixteenth birthday, it will normally need to be updated so that Student Finance England are able to accurately assess the impact your learning difficulty will have on your studies.

What happens next?

Once you have sent the form and evidence of your disability, Student Finance will write and/or email you to confirm that you are eligible for DSA.

When your funding body confirms your eligibility for DSA they will ask you to have a Study Needs Assessment. 

Your Study Needs Assessment can be carried out at any DSA-QAG registered assessment centre, including University of Derby Outreach Assessment Centre

When confirmation of your appointment is sent out it will include a Pre Assessment Form (nnac)‌ that will need to completed and returned to us before your assessment takes place.

During your Study Needs Assessment the Assessor will discuss with you how your studies can be made more accessible to you and identify support and equipment you may need.  DSA will pay for the assessment, and the recommendations made and approved in the report.

 

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