Frequently asked questions about the DSA
We know there are always further questions regarding the DSA process, so we have created the list below of the most frequently asked questions in the hope this will help.
What support should my college or university provide?
DSAs can’t be used to pay for support that the university should be providing. They’re not available for standard academic tuition or counselling services, which your university or college should provide. The university should meet the costs of flexible arrangements made for the curriculum or exams, such as providing materials in alternative formats, although a helper or item of equipment used in exams can be funded by DSAs.
Universities and colleges are expected to make reasonable adjustments and provisions for disabled students. This is particularly in areas that the DSAs don’t cover, such as improving access to the curriculum and signs around the campus.
What if my needs change during my study?
You can apply for help to meet costs throughout your course up to the maximum amount of each allowance. If your needs change and you need further equipment or support, please speak to a Disability adviser in Student Wellbeing.
What if I already have some of what I need?
When assessing your needs, awarding bodies may take into account what support you have already received, especially if you got equipment though DSAs on a previous course. Any new equipment or software must be compatible with what you have already.
Will DSAs affect my welfare benefits?
No. DSAs are only for specific study related expenses. They don’t count as funding for daily living costs. DSAs are completely ignored when deciding if you qualify for means-tested welfare benefits such as Employment and Support Allowance, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit
What if I am repeating periods of study?
Your awarding body may agree to continue making DSA payments if, for reasons related to your disability you have to repeat or extend your study in order to complete it. You should contact a Disability adviser in Student Wellbeing as early as possible about this.
What happens if I transfer to another course?
It should be possible for you to transfer your DSA support to another course, even at a different university. Changing course or university may mean that you need to have slightly different support in place, so you may have to have a top-up needs assessment. Contact your awarding body for advice.
What happens if I leave my course early?
If you leave your course, you should tell your awarding body straight away. DSA can’t be paid after you have left your course.
If you have any unaswered questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.