Disability Support

Disabled Students’ Allowances Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What support can I get through Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA)?

DSA pay for support for eligible students with disabilities. It’s a grant, so you don’t need to pay it back. Support through DSA can include:

  • a Study Skills Tutor if your disability affects your learning  
  • a Mentor if you have a mental health diagnosis or Autistic Spectrum Condition
  • specialist equipment, for example a computer or software
  • a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter 
  • a note-taker
  • ergonomic equipment if you have a physical health condition
  • help with study-related travel costs in certain cases

2. Am I eligible?

You are eligible for DSA, as an undergraduate or postgraduate, if you’ve qualified for a student loan from an UK student finance body.

For more information and to check your eligibility, please contact the student finance body of your home address.

Unfortunately, international students from outside the EU are not normally eligible for DSA. If you’re an EU student who has lived in the UK for five years, please check your eligibility.

3. What evidence do I need to apply?

If you have a Specific Learning Difference (SpLD), such as Dyslexia, Dyspraxia or ADHD, you will need:

  • A full diagnostic assessment done by an Educational Psychologist or Specialist Assessor when you were aged 16 or over
  • Some types of assessments undertaken when you were under 16 years of age may be accepted. Please check with your funding body

LCDS may be able to fund new assessments for current students. Please contact Student Well-being for more information.

If you have an Autistic Spectrum Condition, mental or physical health condition, sensory impairment (or other type of disability) you will need:

  • Medical evidence confirming your disability and its impact on your studies. If you don’t have this, you can take this Medical Evidence Form to your General Practitioner (GP) or specialist to provide you with this evidence

4. I have already applied for DSA, what’s the next step?

Check if your application has been successful. You can find this information on your funding body’s online portal. You should also check your email inbox for updates. It can take up to three weeks for applications to be processed

Your funding body may have informed you that you need to book a ‘Study Needs Assessment’

Or

You may have been asked to provide additional evidence of your disability before your application can proceed. Please see “What evidence do I need to apply for DSA?”

5. I have been to my Study Needs Assessment, what’s the next step? 

Search for your “Notification of Entitlement” letter (also referred to as a “DSA2” letter) in your funding body’s online portal. You should also check your email inbox for updates. If you cannot find this letter, please contact your funding body

Follow the instructions on the Notification of Entitlement/DSA2 letter to get your support in place. You may asked to:

  • Contact a particular supplier to order recommended equipment

Contact your supplier of one-to-one support (for example, mentoring or tutoring) to book your first session.

6. Where can I get more information?

You might find the following websites helpful: