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disabled student allowance (DSA)

what exactly is disabled students allowance (DSA)?

disabled students allowance is a grant made available to provide extra financial support for students in higher education.

the purpose of DSA is to off-set the extra costs higher education students can face as a direct result of an ongoing health condition, mental health condition, deafness, disability or learning difficulty.

DSA therefore enables a greater equality of access for anyone who chooses to study on higher education courses.

who can get DSA?

DSA is available to you if you’re a higher education student and you have:

  • a disability
  • Deaf or hearing loss
  • an ongoing health condition
  • a mental health condition
  • a specific learning difficulty


your higher education course is an undergraduate or postgraduate course (including distance-learning) that is:

  • full-time and at least one year in length
  • part-time, at least one year in length, and doesn’t take more than twice as long to complete as an equivalent course that’s full-time

how much DSA you get depends on the support you need to pursue your studies effectively — but any DSA you receive is completely unrelated to your household income.

also, the DSA you get is additional to any other student finance package you may be receiving. and since DSA is a grant, you don’t have to it pay back.

what can DSA be used to pay for, then? h3>

DSA can be used to help pay for any support, equipment, technology or materials you need to be able to study effectively on your course. some examples are:

  • specialist equipment you need for studying — for example, computer software
  • non-medical support workers — for example, BSL Interpreter or a notetaker
  • additional travel costs you pay out because you can’t use public transport
  • other costs — for example, tapes or Braille paper

and more!

appa provides a range of support services to students that we can match to your specific needs. we can also support you in identifying the materials, equipment or technological assistance you need.

our services are entirely client-centred. this means you choose as much or little support as you require, and you manage when and how you use our services.

for further information, go to our support and interpreting pages, or contact us to find out more about the services we provide for individuals receiving DSA.

how do I apply for DSA?

appa can support you with applying for DSA, whether you’re applying for DSA only, or applying for other student finance as well.

get in touch with our friendly, approachable staff today to find out more about DSA, or to get started on your DSA application.

For your information our NMH and DSA rates are available from this this link.