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Disabled Student Allowances (DSAs)

DSAs can help with costs if you have a disability and need extra support during your studies.

You cannot use DSAs for disability-related costs that you would have if you were not studying a course.

What you could get

There are 4 parts of the DSAs that eligible students can apply for, which are:

  • Specialist Equipment Allowance
  • Non-Medical Helper Allowance
  • General Allowance
  • Travel Allowance

Specialist Equipment Allowance

This provides funding for extra specialist equipment you need to attend your course. Specialist Equipment Allowance support can include:

  • a laptop or computer
  • specialist software
  • ergonomic equipment - for example, a chair or desk

Up to £5,214 is available for the duration of the course for this type of support.

Non-Medical Helper Allowance

This provides money for support that you need to attend your course on the same basis as other students. Non-Medical Helpers Allowance support can include:

  • a note-taker
  • library assistant
  • mentor
  • study skills support

Up to £20,725 is available each academic year for this type of support.

General Allowance

This can help with costs not covered by the other allowances. It can also supplement the specialist equipment allowance and non-medical helper allowance.

The cost of a DSAs study needs assessment is also taken from your general allowance.

Up to £1,741 is available each academic year for this type of support.

Travel Allowance

This is different from Travel and Dual Accommodation Expenses (TDAE).

Travel Allowance can be used to pay for excess travel costs to and from:

  • university
  • a practice placement site

The allowance is worked out as the excess between public transport costs and the type of travel you used because of your disability.

This type of support does not have a limit.

How to apply for DSAs

To apply for DSAs, you must be eligible for NHS Bursary. You can then apply through the NHS Bursary application system.

The DSAs application is separate from the main bursary application.

You can become eligible for DSAs at any point during your course.

For example, you could:

  • become disabled
  • have a disability identified
  • choose to disclose a disability after the course has started

A Disability Advisor from your university can help with your DSAs application.

After we’ve assessed your application, you need to contact an assessment centre for a study needs assessment. The assessment helps to determine:

  • what support you might need
  • how much you can get

If you do not attend the study needs assessment, you cannot get DSAs support.

The assessment centre must send a copy of the needs assessment report to us and your university’s Disability Advisor.

We’ll review the report and let you know of any DSAs support put in place for you.

We may ask for receipts to confirm the amounts you paid, so keep receipts for all the costs of specialist equipment and general allowances.

You can watch a short YouTube video with information on DSAs.