The Disabled Student Allowance: Who Is Eligible And More
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The Disabled Student Allowance: Who Is Eligible And More

Jasmyne Jeffery March 23, 2023

Times have been tough on lots of students as the cost of living crisis has affected millions. Now more than ever you should make sure you’re receiving all the money you’re eligible for. We look into the Disabled Student Allowance, who is eligible and how much you can get.

If you think you might be entitled to more money because of an illness or disability, then we can give you more information about the funding so you can get it sorted.

What Is The Disabled Student Allowance?

The DSA is funding from the UK Government for study-related costs if you have a mental illness, long-term illness or disability. This can be had alongside your Student Finance loan or on its own but does not need to be paid back.

Also unlike your student loan, the money you receive isn’t based on your household income. Instead, it looks at your personal needs.

The Disabled Student Allowance can be used for a whole range of study-related costs. For instance, it can fund specialist equipment for your university course or travel-related costs. It can even provide a non-medical helper, such as an interpreter or a note-taker.

If you’re without a laptop/computer or your current one isn’t what you need for your course, then your DSA can help towards this. Typically, students will need to pay the first £200, but the rest of the cost will then be covered.

After a needs assessment, you’ll receive tailored information. This is a free assessment you’ll do once Student Finance has confirmed you’re DSA eligible and have told you to book it. Once taken, you’ll get a report of all the equipment and other support available to you.

It’s important that you don’t purchase anything until the assessment as you won’t get the money reimbursed.

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Who Is Eligible For The DSA?

Broadly, you are eligible for the Disabled Students Allowance if you are applying through Student Finance England and have a disability that affects studying.

If you have any of the following then you could be eligible. If you aren’t represented on this list but think you should be, you should still apply.

  • Dyslexia or ADHD
  • Anxiety, depression
  • Use of crutches, a wheelchair or a specialist keyboard
  • Visual or hearing impairment
  • A chronic disease, cancer or HIV

Students must be either undergraduate or postgraduate and in a course of at least a year. If you are eligible for the NHS Disabled Student’s Allowance then you cannot apply for both. Typically, you will need to prove your eligibility by a doctor/consultant filling in the disability evidence form.

How Much Is The Disabled Student Allowance?

For the 2023/24 academic year, students are entitled to £26,291 a year in support. This is an increase in the current year, where up to £25,575 is available.

The amount you receive will depend entirely on your personal circumstances, as well as your time at university.

For example, your DSA works differently if you are a part-time student. Your course intensity, so how long your course takes to complete compared to a full-time course, affects how much you get. Also, your course cannot be more than four times longer than a full-time course, but still longer than a year.

This is similar if you’re doing a part-time postgraduate course, as this cannot be more than twice as long as a full-time course.

Unfortunately, the rules are different depending on your course and your needs. It’s best to apply even if you’re not too sure whether you are eligible. It’s a huge amount of money to miss out on.

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Jasmyne Jeffery is a full-time Entertainment and News Writer on university-themed website Freshered and HITC, and joined the company having previously worked in a freelance role. She attended the University of South Wales where she was also a student blogger and graduated in 2022 with a first-class honours degree in English and Creative Writing. Now, she puts her creativity to use reviewing university bars, Love Island episodes and the latest apps any 18-25-year-old is using.