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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, Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or specific learning difficulty. DSAs are grants 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 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 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?

The amount of DSA's you get doesn't depend on your household income.

There is a range of help available:

Allowance: Maximum amount available in 2020/21
Non-medical helper £23,258 per year
Specialist equipment £5,849 for the whole course
General allowance £1,954 per year
Disability-related travel Reasonable spending on extra travel costs incurred as a result of your condition.

How to apply

Step 1 – Apply for DSAs.

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 DSAs from your online account after you’ve submitted your main student finance application.

After you’ve applied for DSAs, 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 DSAs 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 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 guide

For more information, download the Disabled Students’ Allowances 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' 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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