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Disabled Students Allowance Question (Back-payments?) watch

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    Hi!

    I'm just about to finish my 2nd and final year of an animal management HND, and want to go on to a further 1/2 years to top up to a full degree.

    At the beginning of my first year I applied for DSA along with student finance (my disability was depression), and after getting proof from my doctor that I was depressed and taking the medication I was approved for DSA. Because my college is a college and not a uni they were awful about helping me find out how to further the process, as were student loans (I believe you need to attend an interview - which I kept asking about, however I've not long learned that it's with an outside company) and due to the stresses of college I put it to one side and got on with my college work because I was finding it hard to cope with that let alone chasing up people who had no clue/didn't care!

    I came off my anti-depressants near the end of my first year as I felt they weren't helping much, however I feel that I'm still depressed and I'm planning to go back to my doc and see if I can go back on them. Fed up of feeling this way tbh.

    My question is - I've suffered financially over the last 2 years because of having to move house several times (horrible housemates put me in some dark dark times) and also acquiring 2 bunnies (I was lonely ) which I attribute mainly to my depression. As I was initially given the okay to receive DSA at the beginning of the first year, do you think there's any way I could still claim for that year and possibly the second? Obviously I'd get a letter from my doc when I go to see her, explaining that I have been depressed for the full 2 years and how it's affected it. I guess it's weird trying to back-track it, but I guess if you're aware of depression it kinda makes you not want to do things and kinda sabotage your own opportunities for receiving financial help...

    Anyway, weird question but I thought I'd ask it and see if anyone can help
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    I believe you can only get payment from that academic year so it would be the 2nd year and not the 1st.
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    DSA itself is used to pay for support, rather than being a grant as such - at least that's how I understand it - so it doesn't make sense for it to be back-paid. It's rotten to let you down like this but I'm really not aware of any support grants for disability - someone please please correct me if I'm wrong.

    Hold on tight though - I'm sorry your college have been so useless. See if you can talk to Skill (National Bureau for Students with Disabilities) for advice: http://www.skill.org.uk/index.aspx

    Don't worry about asking the 'right' questions, and if you get an adviser who makes you feel tongue-tied, call back later in the hope of getting someone different. The right person will be able to help.
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    No you can't get it backdated (its used to help you with items for that year) BUT do go and see an independent body of some sort (Skill, or citizens advice or even your local council who can give you a temp social worker to advise you) as you may be able to get other sorts of help.

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