Disabled Students Allowance FAQ

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claireestelle
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#1
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#1
What is it?
Disabled students allowance is a non means tested grant to pay for support you might need as a disabled student at university. It is a grant which gets paid directly to suppliers so you don't see the money yourself like you would with PIP for example, it's only when you claim back travel costs and printing costs that you actually get cash yourself.

Am I eligible?
To be eligible you have to be studying an eligible undergraduate or postgraduate course, distance learning courses can be included in this. You have to be a UK student and not be getting funding from anyone else for your disability like a postgrad research council.
How do I apply?
You can fill in the appropriate DSA form once you've started your student finance application, in England the DSA application process can take up to 14 weeks (it can be quicker with the other funding bodies) so it's best to get organised early so that your support will be in place from when you start university.

What evidence do I need to apply?
If you are physically disabled, have a health condition or mental health condition then you'll need evidence from your gp or an appropriate specialist for your condition, it's not enough for them to say you have a condition, you need it to describe how it will affect your ability to study.
If you have a learning difficulty like dyslexia you'll need a full diagnostic report from after your turned 16 by a practitioner psychologist or a suitably qualified specialist teacher holding a current Assessment Practising Certificate.
Will DSA pay for me to get evidence?
No, DSA does not cover the costs of getting evidence, if you have a learning difficulty sometimes university have funds which might help towards paying for an assessment.

What does it not cover?
It's only for extra study related costs that you have that other students wouldn't so it doesn't cover prescriptions or paying for a carer for example.

What happens once my application has been accepted?
Student finance will then get in touch with you about arranging a needs assessment (this is covered by them), this will then be sent of to them so they will use this to decide what support they will provide for you.
I'm worried about my needs assessment what will they ask?
It's basically an informal chat where they'll ask you various questions about what you struggle with, with any aspects of studying. If you're worried take a long of list of what you struggle with. It's good to talk about what has and hasn't helped you in the past, the more information you can give them, the more beneficial it will be for you.
What does DSA pay for?
Specialist equipment allowance (In Scotland this is the large items allowance) - This covers things like a laptop, specialist software and Dictaphones. If you are an SFE student you will have to contribute the first £200 to a computer (currently it's only in england where this applies).

Non-medical helper allowance- This covers non-medical support workers such as BSL interpreters and note takers. It won't cover any support that you would need if you weren't studying

Travel allowance- This is to help with extra travel costs because of your disability for example taxi costs because you aren't able to use public transport. They may ask you to provide receipts.

General allowance (in Scotland this is the basic allowance) - This covers things that don't come under other categories including paying for your needs assessment and for braille paper ( Apart from in England, this can cover extra accommodation costs when you have to pay for accessible accommodation.) .

What does non-medical support include?

As mentioned above, this covers anything study related that isn't for medical help.
There's a big range of support under this:
Library support assistants; these are to help you access the library resources if your disability makes it more difficult.
Workshop/Lab assistants; these are to help you access labs and workshops if your disability makes it more difficult.
Note takers; these help to make notes in a format suitable for you in lectures if you have a disability that affects reading, writing or concentration.
Study support assistants; these are to help you with studying and learning techniques for example structuring essays for students with SPLDs.
BSL interpreters; these are for interpreting lectures and seminars for you.
Technology trainers; these show you how to use any software that you have been recommended.

If I apply for DSA will I have to tell my university?
You don't have to tell them but it will make getting support much easier if you do. If you are entitled to exam adjustment then you will have to notify them.
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ggggggghhhh
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#2
Report 2 years ago
#2
(Original post by claireestelle)
What is it?
Disabled students allowance is a non means tested grant to pay for support you might need as a disabled student at university. It is a grant which gets paid directly to suppliers so you don't see the money yourself like you would with PIP for example, it's only when you claim back travel costs and printing costs that you actually get cash yourself.

Am I eligible?
To be eligible you have to be studying an eligible undergraduate or postgraduate course, distance learning courses can be included in this. You have to be a UK student and not be getting funding from anyone else for your disability like a postgrad research council.
How do I apply?
You can fill in the appropriate DSA form once you've started your student finance application, in England the DSA application process can take up to 14 weeks (it can be quicker with the other funding bodies) so it's best to get organised early so that your support will be in place from when you start university.

What evidence do I need to apply?
If you are physically disabled, have a health condition or mental health condition then you'll need evidence from your gp or an appropriate specialist for your condition, it's not enough for them to say you have a condition, you need it to describe how it will affect your ability to study.
If you have a learning difficulty like dyslexia you'll need a full diagnostic report from after your turned 16 by a practitioner psychologist or a suitably qualified specialist teacher holding a current Assessment Practising Certificate.
Will DSA pay for me to get evidence?
No, DSA does not cover the costs of getting evidence, if you have a learning difficulty sometimes university have funds which might help towards paying for an assessment.

What does it not cover?
It's only for extra study related costs that you have that other students wouldn't so it doesn't cover prescriptions or paying for a carer for example.

What happens once my application has been accepted?
Student finance will then get in touch with you about arranging a needs assessment (this is covered by them), this will then be sent of to them so they will use this to decide what support they will provide for you.
I'm worried about my needs assessment what will they ask?
It's basically an informal chat where they'll ask you various questions about what you struggle with, with any aspects of studying. If you're worried take a long of list of what you struggle with. It's good to talk about what has and hasn't helped you in the past, the more information you can give them, the more beneficial it will be for you.
What does DSA pay for?
Specialist equipment allowance (In Scotland this is the large items allowance) - This covers things like a laptop, specialist software and Dictaphones. If you are an SFE student you will have to contribute the first £200 to a computer (currently it's only in england where this applies).

Non-medical helper allowance- This covers non-medical support workers such as BSL interpreters and note takers. It won't cover any support that you would need if you weren't studying

Travel allowance- This is to help with extra travel costs because of your disability for example taxi costs because you aren't able to use public transport. They may ask you to provide receipts.

General allowance (in Scotland this is the basic allowance) - This covers things that don't come under other categories including paying for your needs assessment and for braille paper ( Apart from in England, this can cover extra accommodation costs when you have to pay for accessible accommodation.) .

What does non-medical support include?

As mentioned above, this covers anything study related that isn't for medical help.
There's a big range of support under this:
Library support assistants; these are to help you access the library resources if your disability makes it more difficult.
Workshop/Lab assistants; these are to help you access labs and workshops if your disability makes it more difficult.
Note takers; these help to make notes in a format suitable for you in lectures if you have a disability that affects reading, writing or concentration.
Study support assistants; these are to help you with studying and learning techniques for example structuring essays for students with SPLDs.
BSL interpreters; these are for interpreting lectures and seminars for you.
Technology trainers; these show you how to use any software that you have been recommended.

If I apply for DSA will I have to tell my university?
You don't have to tell them but it will make getting support much easier if you do. If you are entitled to exam adjustment then you will have to notify them.
but you will also have to use your supper powers to get over the very thing you hold as a disadvantage or disability to get the help before any help can be received because archaic idiots run the show. how about this 'special' stupid thick lazy person could suggest on accepting the medical evidence you hand over the freakin mentor support to help the person through the rest of the utter oppresive intimidating nasty fowl process? maybe.
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Arash 88
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#3
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#3
Hi everyone, what kind of help you can get when you have generalised anxiety disorder mental health issues.
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username5763610
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#4
Report 1 year ago
#4
(Original post by Arash 88)
Hi everyone, what kind of help you can get when you have generalised anxiety disorder mental health issues.
I was given 60 hours a year with a specialist mentor to work with but it can differ from person to person as anxiety can effect everyone's lives in different ways, it can also depend on the format of your course.
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Googley_eyes
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#5
Report 1 year ago
#5
(Original post by Arash 88)
Hi everyone, what kind of help you can get when you have generalised anxiety disorder mental health issues.
60 hours with a mentor is about all you’ll get. A large proportion of applicants for DSA are for things like anxiety and as they don’t really see these things as a disability, just a bending of the rules they have to follow as anyone can claim to have these things and get allowances, they won’t give you much without extensive proof of issues. DSA is mainly for physical conditions and learning disabilities/autism where physical support and assistive tech is required.
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username5234680
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#6
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#6
What would someone get who’s blind and has chronic fatigue and mobility issues?
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-Eirlys-
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#7
Report 10 months ago
#7
(Original post by Computerbot212)
What would someone get who’s blind and has chronic fatigue and mobility issues?
Here's a useful link
https://www.yorksj.ac.uk/working-wit...nts-allowance/
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saskiahdltea
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#8
Report 10 months ago
#8
(Original post by Arash 88)
Hi everyone, what kind of help you can get when you have generalised anxiety disorder mental health issues.
not sure if you'll see this as its a late reply but you can get so much stuff! i got a laptop, printer, printer ink and £150 ink allowance, university mentor, several programmes for my laptop etc. there are some great youtube videos with hauls !
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Googley_eyes
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#9
Report 10 months ago
#9
(Original post by saskiahdltea)
not sure if you'll see this as its a late reply but you can get so much stuff! i got a laptop, printer, printer ink and £150 ink allowance, university mentor, several programmes for my laptop etc. there are some great youtube videos with hauls !
What grounds were the laptop, printer, and ink for as they’re not normally issued for anxiety?
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saskiahdltea
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#10
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#10
(Original post by Googley_eyes)
What grounds were the laptop, printer, and ink for as they’re not normally issued for anxiety?
they were issued due to anxiety, it was because it affects how i write my notes and i needed certain software on the laptop so i needed a new laptop as mine was old
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Googley_eyes
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#11
Report 10 months ago
#11
(Original post by saskiahdltea)
they were issued due to anxiety, it was because it affects how i write my notes and i needed certain software on the laptop so i needed a new laptop as mine was old
That’s interesting, as it’s not the standard package. I assume you have a lot of medical evidence then, as anxiety is one of the few things students can, and I know true stories of this, fake to get free things. Anyone can claim anxiety to a doctor.

I hope your resources help you
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saskiahdltea
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#12
Report 10 months ago
#12
here's some information if anyone is looking for what equipment you can get and for what reasons:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omIRdhd_fVU&t=1219s
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OliM9595
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#13
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#13
How much money do the DSA fund your laptop if you choose to get something else?
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saskiahdltea
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#14
Report 2 weeks ago
#14
(Original post by OliM9595)
How much money do the DSA fund your laptop if you choose to get something else?
they only fund like £400 i think, you always pay minimum £200
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