Accessing Support in Higher Education Applying for DSA (disabled students’ allowances) Inclusive Services Team Edge Hill University
Disclosure Edge Hill has a duty to be ‘proactive and anticipatory’ in meeting the requirements of all students, including disabled students Early contact helps to ensure ‘reasonable adjustments’ can be put in place as soon as possible. If a student chooses not to disclose this can affect how the university supports them
What is DSA?
Disabled Students Allowance is a non means tested grant from the government that provides funding for someone who wants to study a higher education course and has a disability, ongoing health condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty like dyslexia
DSA is paid on top of the standard student finance package and doesn’t have to be paid back. The amount a student is awarded depends on the type of extra help they need - not on the household income
DSA can potentially fund: equipment, academic support, travel and additional expenses and consumables
How does a student apply?
A DSA form and guidance is available from: www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinance
If a student is applying applying for DSAs only, you complete form DSA1
If a student is also applying for the main student finance package, they indicate on the main application that they want to apply for DSAs – and then complete a ‘short’ version of the DSA1 form
Medical Evidence – Essential!
For disability you need a recent letter from your doctor or specialist.
For SpLD a recent Educational Psychologist report. (under review. Please check with SFE)
Who can apply?
A student can apply if they are doing an undergraduate or postgraduate course (including a distance-learning course) that is:
full-time and lasts at least one year
part-time, lasts at least one year and doesn't take more than twice as long to complete as an equivalent full-time course
Disabled Students’ Allowance Process – SpLD
Disabled Students’ Allowance Process – medical condition
What happens next?
Student Finance England (SFE) or NHS Bursaries will assess the students claim and make a decision.
They will receive a letter requesting that you contact the university and have a needs assessment
Advice is given to students about how they book a Needs Assessment
Following the Needs Assessment, SFE will contact the student letting them know if they agree with the recommendations made by the assessor. It is then that equipment/support can be put in place
If you have any concerns or are unsure about any of the steps when a student applies for DSA please contact
Inclusive Services Team:
The Students responsibilities!
Contact your services as early as possible to discuss their requirements
Obtain their medical evidence and follow the guidance to apply for DSA online
Send the relevant documents to Student Finance England or NHS Bursaries
Talk to your team in confidence, keep you informed and contact your services if they have any queries