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DSA, dyslexia, assessment - pre-uni

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    Posted this in the money forum but no reply:

    Hi,

    This post is on behalf of a friend, so if you can help, I would really appreciate it.

    My friend is 25 and due to go to uni to do a foundation degree is music performance in September. When she was at college (doing Access to Music) a few years ago, they assessed her for learning difficulties and she has moderate to severe dyslexia and some other requirements. They helped her with extra tuition and note-taking and things.

    Now, I am fully aware that if you are certified as dyslexic then you are able to claim a) the Special support grant and b) DSA and the DSA will pay out for any specialist equipment you may require e.g. a laptop. Now, she has not been certified. To see an educational psychologist can cost between £200-400 - money which she does not have. If you wait to be assessed when you are a university student, often the university pays, or you can apply to the access to learning fund to pay for it. However, as claimants will know, the DSA process is long and protracted, and ideally she would be assessed now so she can claim DSA from September and get the equipment she requires in September, rather than in June by the time the whole process ends.

    So, what I am asking for is whether any of you have managed to get a free/subsidised learning needs assessment to certify you of your disability prior to starting uni? If so, did this mean you were able to claim DSA/special support grant from September? How long did it take for your equipment to come through once you started proceedings?

    Thanks in advance, and if I have been unclear, please ask me to clarify. We really need help figuring out the best way to approach the situation!

    Lemily
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    You are wrong in your assumption that dyslexia qualifies you for the special support grant. It does not. The SSG is a very specifically targeted grant the criteria for which are clearly stated here

    http://www.studentfinance.direct.gov..._schema=PORTAL

    Your friend will qualify for the DSA.
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    (Original post by hypocriticaljap)
    You are wrong in your assumption that dyslexia qualifies you for the special support grant. It does not. The SSG is a very specifically targeted grant the criteria for which are clearly stated here

    http://www.studentfinance.direct.gov..._schema=PORTAL

    Your friend will qualify for the DSA.

    Sorry I wasn't overly clear. From my experience, those who are successful in certifying moderate/severe dyslexia and have also qualified for full maintenance grants, have instead been told to apply for the special support grant, though this has been from 2nd year onwards. I didn't mean to imply it was a given.

    Do you have any other info that may be useful for my friend? Such as where to get a cheap or subsidised assessment?
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    She can go through her GP or possibly disability support at college. My test (plus initial screening) was free.
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    (Original post by lemily)
    Sorry I wasn't overly clear. From my experience, those who are successful in certifying moderate/severe dyslexia and have also qualified for full maintenance grants, have instead been told to apply for the special support grant, though this has been from 2nd year onwards. I didn't mean to imply it was a given.

    Do you have any other info that may be useful for my friend? Such as where to get a cheap or subsidised assessment?
    I'm sorry but this is rubbish.
    I get DSA, I get full maintenance grants, I've just got my finance for year 2 agreed. No mention of SSG at all.
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    When they say people with disabilities may be entitled to the SSG they don't mean things like dyslexia...it's for those who may continue to get income-related benefits whist at uni, ie those who receive the disability premium part of income support and are unable to work or only work under 16 hours because of their disability.
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    (Original post by hypocriticaljap)
    I'm sorry but this is rubbish.
    I get DSA, I get full maintenance grants, I've just got my finance for year 2 agreed. No mention of SSG at all.
    I'm sorry if that hasn't been the case for you, or if I am wrong. I did say in my experience, and by that, I mean my partner who was told he would get SSG due to his DSA circumstances which are as above, and are not dissimilar to my other friends. If there are other conflicting circumstances that have made him entitled, I do apologise.
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    (Original post by Titch89)
    She can go through her GP or possibly disability support at college. My test (plus initial screening) was free.
    Thank you. I will tell her to contact her GP, but as she isn't currently at college (applying as a mature student a few years after finishing college) she can't ask them unfortunately. I never thought of her GP. Thanks!
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    (Original post by lemily)
    I'm sorry if that hasn't been the case for you, or if I am wrong. I did say in my experience, and by that, I mean my partner who was told he would get SSG due to his DSA circumstances which are as above, and are not dissimilar to my other friends. If there are other conflicting circumstances that have made him entitled, I do apologise.
    No ned to apologise but as my link clearly shows there are very clear criteria for qualifying for SSG. Dyslexia is not one of them. Your partner may qualify by some other means. Just thought I would make it clear for others because the SSG is not the same as the maintenance grant. SSG does not affect any entitlement to other loans, whereas the maintenance grant does.
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    Has anyone successfully managed to get the NHS via a GP to fund their assessment? How would you approach the GP about one?

    Thanks.
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    (Original post by lemily)
    Has anyone successfully managed to get the NHS via a GP to fund their assessment? How would you approach the GP about one?

    Thanks.
    This guidance booklet on DSA clearly states that you have to meet the cost yourself. It suggets universit access funds may be able to help.
    http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum.../dg_183900.pdf

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