What is Disabled Student's Allowance ?
The Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) is a grant to help meeting the additional studying costs or expenses that students can face as a direct result of a disability, specific learning difficulty or mental health condition. It is intended to help disabled students study on an equal basis with other students.
Please note that only students who have lived in the UK for three years prior to the start of their course are eligible.
Who can claim?
You may claim the DSA in addition to your student finance loans and grants to cover any extra study-related costs. It is neither a benefit nor a loan, so it doesn’t need repaying and is not means tested. The amount you’ll receive depends on your individual needs not on your income or that of your parents or partner.
The DSA is available to both full-time and part-time students studying on undergraduate and on postgraduate courses.
How does it work?
The Disabled Students' Allowance can help you with the costs of:
- specialist equipment, for example a computer if you need one because of your disability
- non-medical helper support (study skills, specialist mentoring and assistive technology training). Sessions can be delivered online and/or on a face to face basis, depending on what you prefer
- extra travel because of your disability
- other disability-related costs of studying
The allowance is based on your individual needs, and not your financial circumstances. It can take up to 14 weeks to get your DSA support in place, so we recommend that you apply for DSA as early as you can.
How do I apply?
You can apply through your Student Finance account if you have applied for a tuition fee or maintenance loan.
The GOV.UK website has information about the allowance and how to apply. Find out more and apply.
DSA Needs Assessment information
Once Student Finance have confirmed your eligibility for DSA you will be asked to book a Study Needs Assessment. The West London Assessment Centre (WLAC) is an outreach needs assessment centre located on Royal Holloway's campus. Please contact WLAC to book an appointment.
UPDATE - Please note that Needs Assessment are currently being conducted online.
Alternatively, you can find an Assessment Centre in your local area.
You then need to wait for a DSA Entitlement letter as this will outline what support has been approved based on the recommendations in the Needs Assessment. If you would like any help with your DSA application then please contact us.
Information for Needs Assessors - can be found here
Royal Holloway's DSA NMH rates can be found here
Guidance for External NMH providers here