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Disabled Students’ Allowance

Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) is available if you have a disability, long-term health condition, mental-health condition, Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or specific learning difficulty. DSA is a grant to help pay the essential extra costs you may have as a direct result of your disability. You must meet the definition of a disability under the Equality Act 2010.

Who can get DSA?

You can get DSA 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 Education (ITE) 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?

Students can get up to £31,831 of support per year for 2021 to 2022.

You can get help with the costs of:

  • specialist equipment, for example a computer if you need one because of your disability
  • non-medical helpers, for example a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter or specialist note taker
  • other disability-related study support, for example having to print additional copies of documents for proof-reading

You might also be eligible for extra help to cover reasonable spending on extra travel costs incurred as a result of your condition.

How to apply

Step 1 – Apply for DSA

If you’re a full-time student and applying for other student finance, such as a Tuition Fee Loan, you’ll be able to apply for DSA from your online account after you’ve submitted your main student finance application.

After you’ve applied for DSA, you’ll be told what evidence you need to submit to support your application. You can submit a digital copy of your evidence through your online account.

If you’re only applying for DSA and no other type of student finance, you need to complete a paper application form.

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

If you qualify for DSA 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 DSA you can get.

It’s at this stage you’ll receive a letter from SFW advising if DSA 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 guide

For more information, download the Disabled Students' Allowance guide:

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' Allowance, you should complete this shortened version of the DSA1 Form.

If you’re only applying for the Disabled Students’ Allowance 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' Allowance.

How is it paid?

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

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