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  • 1. Students with Disabilities - Grants Undergraduate and postgraduate students whose home is in England, Wales and Northern Ireland LPJuly09
  • 2. Students with Disabilities In addition to the financial support available to help with tuition fees and living costs, students with disabilities can apply for additional financial help to cover costs which arise from studying and having a disability. For students who live in England or Wales applications are assessed by the Local Authority (LA) or Student Finance England/Student Finance Wales. For students who live in Northern Ireland applications are assessed by the Education and Libraries Board (ELB) or Student Finance NI. For students who live in Scotland applications are assessed by the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS). Support for Scottish students is broadly similar to that outlined in this leaflet; full details are available at http://www.saas.gov.uk/student_support/special_circumstances/disabled_students_allo wance.htm What are DSAs? Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs) are available from your Local Authority (LA), Student Finance England/Wales/NI or Education and Libraries Board and for Scottish students SAAS They are not means-tested, so the amount you receive will not be affected by your family's income. There is no upper age limit for DSAs. DSAs are a grant so you do not have to repay them. DSAs can help to pay for extra costs you may incur in attending a course, as a direct result of your disability. The allowances can help with the cost of a non-medical personal helper, major items of specialist equipment and other costs. DSAs are not intended to help with disability related spending which you would have to pay regardless of whether you are studying. Who is eligible to apply for DSAs? You are eligible to apply for a DSA if: • You are a 'home student'. • You attend an eligible undergraduate or PGCE full-time course (Part-time students can receive help providing they are attending at least 50% of a full time course more information is contained in the leaflet - Funding for part-time students). • You are personally eligible for maintenance support for that course. • You have a disability which can include physical disability, mental health problems or learning difficulties such as dyslexia, confirmed by medical evidence or a diagnostic assessment. • Postgraduate students studying a course lasting at least one year can apply for DSA's, but the level of support is different. 2
  • 3. You are not eligible for DSAs if you attend an eligible course but you are • an EU student and are eligible only for support with your fees • a sandwich course student on a full-year paid placement. Previous study on a course of higher education will not affect your eligibility for DSAs. However, support received as an undergraduate for specialist equipment might be taken into account if you apply as a postgraduate. Rates of DSA The rates of allowances for full time and undergraduates in 2009/10 are as follows: • Specialist equipment allowance: up to £5161 for the whole of your course; • Non-medical helpers allowance: up to £20520 a year; • General disabled students' allowance: up to £1,724 a year. • Reasonable spending on extra travel costs. The rate of allowance for full-time postgraduates in 2009/10 is a maximum of £10260 which can be used for specialist equipment, non-medical personal helpers or extra travel costs. Postgraduate students who receive help with disability related costs from another source, e.g. their sponsors or research council, will not be eligible for funding through the DSA. Part-time students DSA’s are as follows • Specialist equipment allowance: up to £5161 for the whole of your course; • Non-medical helpers allowance: up to £15390 a year; • General disabled students' allowance: up to £1,293 a year These rates are the maximum you can get. They are meant to be able to support people with a high level of need, so most people will get less than the maximum. You will only get enough money from the DSA to cover the cost of the equipment or support you need. Specialist equipment allowance is intended to help with the purchase or lease/rental costs of equipment which you need to pursue your course due to your disability. The money may also be used to cover insurance premiums, technical support or extended warranty costs specific to the equipment. Non-medical helper's allowance, for example to pay for extra tutorial support to help with dyslexia, readers, sign language interpreters or note-takers, depending on your disability. General disabled students allowance can be used towards other disability and study related spending. It can be used to top up the other two allowances if necessary. Travel costs to attend your course can be funded if you have extra costs over and above those of the average student. 3
  • 4. More Information about DSA for students from England More details on financial help for students with disabilities is available online: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/DisabledPeople/EducationAndTraining/HigherEducation/DG _10034898 Application forms can be downloaded from: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/DisabledPeople/EducationAndTraining/HigherEducation/DG _10034900 Benefits Students with disabilities may be able to continue to claim disability benefits. If you are eligible for benefits, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will take account of certain income you receive through grants or loans under the main Student Support arrangements. Where you are eligible for a loan, the benefits agency will take into account the maximum loan available to you, whether or not you have borrowed it. Support towards your tuition fees and assistance from DSAs is not taken into account, in calculating your benefits. It is advisable to check how starting a full time course might affect any entitlement to benefits by contacting the Student Support Centre or DANS (see below). For example; if you have been in receipt of Incapacity Benefit or Employment and Support Allowance, starting a full time course may lead the DWP to conclude that you are well enough to take up employment. Please seek advice in this situation. Access to Learning Fund Disabled students are considered as a priority group for assistance from this university hardship fund. Help can be given with general hardship or disability related costs which exceed the maximum allowance of DSA. Application forms and assistance with their completion can be obtained from the Student Support Centre. Other sources of information Disabilities and Special Needs Service (DANS) This service is part of the University's Department of Student Guidance and Welfare. They are able to advise on what help and support is available to you whilst studying at Loughborough. DANS can help to organize a needs assessment, liaise with Local Authorities and social services to ensure that entitlement to financial assistance is maximized. DANS also help to liaise with university departments and accommodation services. DANS contact details: Telephone: 01509 222770 Or visit their web site: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/disabilities/ Skill: National Bureau for Students with Disabilities Information Service (Tuesday 11.30am-1.30pm) Phone: 0800 328 5050 Minicom: 0800 068 2422 Fax: 020 7450 0650 Email: info@skill.org.uk Website: http://www.skill.org.uk/index.htm 4