A sample of a DSA award letter can be viewed by downloading this Example DSA2. Please note, this is for reference only - contact details and specific information may not be correct.
Disabled Students Allowances
What are Disabled Student Allowances?
If you are a UK student, you may be entitled to receive Disabled Students Allowances (DSA) from your funding body. DSA is not means tested and does not need to be repaid. The allowance is dependent on your needs and will be paid directly to providers. DSA can pay for things like academic mentoring support, assistive technology, and additional study costs incurred because of your disability.
When do I apply?
You can apply for DSA when you apply for your student loans, and you will need to send your funding body evidence of your condition. Your funding body is the same funding body for student loans, such as Student Finance England, Student Finance Wales and SAAS. If you do not have a student loan you can still apply for DSA.
DSA Study Needs Assessments
Once you receive confirmation of DSA eligibility from your funding body you will be asked to book an appointment for a Study Needs Assessment at an Assessment Centre. You can have an assessment at any approved Assessment Centre. Your funding body will tell you how to do this.
What happens after my DSA Study Needs Assessment?
Following your DSA Needs Assessment appointment you will receive a Needs Assessment Report which will detail the types of support and adjustment recommended for your studies. This report will be sent to your funding body who will then confirm which recommendations they will approve. Your funding body will confirm these details in writing to you. Your entitlement letter will outline the support that has been approved including:
- Any approved equipment and how to contact and order this from the suppliers.
- Any assistive technology training you have been awarded and details of how to contact the training suppliers.
- Any non-medical helper support you have been awarded including the number of hours and the supplier of this support.
- Any other disability-related study support.
What you need to do?
It is important that you contact the suppliers of your equipment, training and non-medical helper support to ensure that this support is put in place. If you have agreed to share information with your university, a copy of your approved Needs Assessment report adjustments will be sent to your University Disability Service. At Lancaster, our Disability and Inclusive Practice Service will help you to set up the adjustments and support outlined in your report. The team will contact you to explain what will happen next and what you need to do.
How does my DSA Needs Assessment impact upon my support at Lancaster?
If you have agreed to share information with your university, a copy of your approved Needs Assessment report adjustments will be sent to Lancaster's Disability and Inclusive Practice Service. We will help to set up the adjustments and support outlined in your report. There are some recommendations that only you can set-up and we will help you to understand what you need to do next.
On receipt of your DSA Needs Assessment Report your case will be reviewed and you will be provided with an ILSP as a way to record and share information about your support and adjustments at Lancaster. If you already have an ILSP, this will be reviewed and updated (if needed). If your ILSP is updated, you will receive a notification to view your updated ILSP on the Student Portal.
Further information about DSA
To find out more about DSA, have a look at our quick TRAINING RESOURCE, which answers many common questions around applying, what support you may get and how to access it.