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Disabled Students’ Allowances

Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) are available if you have a disability, long-term health condition, mental-health condition or specific learning difficulty. DSAs are additional funding available for students who otherwise may not have been able to attend a higher education course. You must meet the definition of a disability under the Equality Act 2010.

Who can get DSAs?

You can get DSAs if:

  • you qualify for student finance;
  • you're an undergraduate or postgraduate student (including distance learning students);
  • you’re an Open University (OU) student;
  • you’re studying an Initial Teacher Training (ITT) course;
  • you’re studying a first higher education course (HND or Dip HE);
  • your condition affects your ability to study and you can provide evidence of this.

How much can you get?

The amount of Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA) you get does not depend on your income, or that of your parents or partner.

There is a range of help available:

Allowance:Maximum amount available:
Non-medical helper allowance £21,181 per year
Specialist equipment allowance £5,332 for the whole course
General allowance (for other disability-related expenditure) £1,785 per year
Disability-related travel allowance Reasonable spending on additional travel costs incurred as a result of your condition.

How to apply

Step 1 – Tell us about your disability

Fill in the Disabled Students’ Allowances Application Form and return it to us.

Step 2 – Student Finance Wales (SFW) will assess your application

If you qualify for DSAs we will send you a letter to let you know. You’ll then need to arrange a needs assessment.

Step 3 – You should attend a needs assessment.

After the needs assessment you’ll receive a report outlining the equipment you’ll need, how much it costs and where to get it.

Step 4 - Student Finance Wales will send you a letter to let you know what DSAs you can get.

It’s at this stage you’ll receive a letter from SFW advising if DSAs can pay for any specialist equipment and other support recommended in your needs assessment report. We’ll also give you instructions for ordering equipment or arranging other support.

DSA guides

For more information, download this guide to Disabled Students’ Allowances:

We’ve produced a quick guide about DSAs.

DSA forms

If you’ve completed, or are in the middle of completing your application for student finance and you also want to apply for Disabled Students' Allowances, you should complete this shortened version of the DSA1 Form.

If you’re only applying for the Disabled Students’ Allowances you should complete the full DSA1 Form.

These guidance notes provide extra information you need to help you complete the DSA1 Application Form.

If you want to claim for expenses you’ve already paid out, fill in a 'Claim Form for Reimbursement of costs through Disabled Students' Allowances'.

How is it paid?

DSAs will either be paid to you directly or to any equipment or service suppliers.

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