The Disabled Students' Allowance

Find out how you could get funded equipment and support to help you with your studies.

What is Disabled Student's Allowance ?


Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) is support to cover the study-related costs you have because of a mental health problem, long term illness or any other disability.

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. 

It is not a financial payment made to you but a grant that will cover any equipment or Non medical helper support you may need.  This is determined at a Needs Assessment. 

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.  

You can find step by step instructions by clicking here.  Click here for a text only version. 

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 can be conducted in person or 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

**Please note availability for both study skills and specialist mentoring is very limited, can you please check the current status with us via**


Royal Holloway's DSA NMH rates can be found here 


 Guidance for External NMH providers here

Contact us

During term time we offer a confidential drop-in service from 11am to 2pm each day.

We offer face to face and online sessions. 

Online sessions are available Monday and Friday.

Please click on the link below to access this service. 

Disability Drop-in (11am to 2pm week days during term-time)

Face to face sessions take place in  FE153 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 11am to 2pm. 

Please note you may be required to wait for either service. A disability adviser will let you into the drop-in as soon as they are available.  

You can also email or phone us (please see below).  If you would like to organise a meeting we can offer this via Microsoft Teams. Please email or phone to arrange.

Call us on 01784 414621

Email us


You can view accessibility information for Royal Holloway hereLogo


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