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 DSA 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.

Where do I apply?

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

How do I apply For Disabled Students’ Allowance?

To apply for DSA, you will need to complete form DSA1 and return it to your funding body, together with your supporting documents.

Student Finance England forms

Other funding bodies

If you need any help or advice on completing these forms, you can email one of our Student Advisers at

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 the University of Derby Assessment Centre.

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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