Disabled Student Allowance And Needs Assessed Funding



Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) can be applied for by higher education students who live in England, provided they have any of the following: a disability, a mental health condition, health problems that are long-term, or a particular learning difficulty – for instance, dyslexia.

Disabled Student Allowance And Needs Assessed Funding

disable_access_symbol_1DSAs are paid out following a needs assessment. Any money provided is not related to an individual’s household income, but to his or her individual needs. DSAs that are awarded are added to a student’s existing finance, and don’t require repayment.

Both a full-time and part-time studenta are eligible to claim DSA. The total payment awarded is calculated by analysing the students particular requirements in three sub-categorised areas. The first area looked at is the requirement for any specialist assistive technology equipment. The second category that your DSA grant may cover is the provision of a non medical helper if you require one to help you with mobility issues with regards to getting to and around campus. The third categorisation covers general costs for things like blank compact disks or other recordable media, photocopying charges, and other costs that are a direct result of your disability.

How Much Can You Get?

The maximum payment amount for equipment is capped a £5,161. This is for the entire course, not per term. For the non-medical helper allowance there is a sizeable monetary difference between what full students are eligible for, and part-time students are eligible for. A full-time student will receive up to £20,520 a year, whereas a part-time student can expect to receive up to £15,390 a year. Also, a full-time student can expect to receive a general allowance of up to £1,724 a year, and a part-time student a general allowance of up to £1,293 a year. For postgraduates a single allowance of £10,260 can be awarded. It should be noted that most students will receive less than the maximum figures, regarding all of the above.

What Is A Needs Assessment?

The needs assessment will evaluate the exact areas that you require help with, and DSAs can help a student with a wide range of issues. They can help with the costs of specialist equipment (such as computer software), extra travels costs brought about because of a disability, and non-medical helpers (a note-taker, reader, etc.). DSAs can also help with other costs (photocopying, books in Braille or large print, stationery, etc.). What DSAs don’t cover are typical students costs and disability-related costs you’d face if you weren’t on a course.

Once you have been deemed eligible for a DSA you will be asked by Student Finance England to visit an assessment centre. Your needs will then be worked out, and a report will list the equipment and relevant support you require in relation to your course.

Receiving Your DSA Grant

DSA money is either paid out into your bank account, or to those supplying the equipment, or providing the service.

It can take up to 14 weeks from your application being received to its approval and equipment being provided, and your needs assessed. Consequently, you are advised to apply early.

This guest post was written by Nick Davison. Nick writes for a number of disability related websites, including Access First.


Header photo by Clément

Author: SmartStudent

SmartStudent is an educational portal that provides information & advice to aspiring students. regarding applying to university, choosing a course, what to take to university, finding student accommodation and much more.

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