Students sat in a lecture theatre

About Disabled Students' Allowance

Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) are available if you have a disability, long-term health condition, mental health condition, Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or specific learning difficulty. DSAs are government grants to help pay the essential extra study-related costs you may have, as a direct result of your disability. DSAs are administered through a number of funding bodies including, SFE, SFW, SFNI and SAAS. DSAs are also provided by the Research Councils, the NHS and Social Work Bursaries. The details below are based on the arrangements for SFE. Other funding bodies may have slightly different arrangements.

The DSA Hub website provides further information and resources.


  • Who can get DSAs?

    You can get DSAs if:

    you qualify for student finance;

    you are an undergraduate or postgraduate student (including if you are a distance learning student or an Open University student);

    you are studying an Initial Teacher Education (ITE) course;

    you are studying a first higher education course (HND or Dip HE)

  • How much can you get?

    The amount of DSA's you get is not dependent on your household income.

    DSA is divided into a number of allowances covering different aspects of support.


    Allowance                             Maximum amount available in 2018/19 and 2019/20

    Non-medical helper               £22,472 per year

    Specialist equipment             £5,657 for the whole course

    General allowance                 £1,894 per year

    Disability-related travel         Reasonable spending on extra travel costs incurred as a result of your condition.

    Postgraduate students can get a single allowance of up to £20,000 a year.

    These are maximum amounts. What you get will depend on your individual needs based on the recommendations from your needs assessment.

  • How to apply

    Precise arrangements will depend on your funding body. In general, you will need to apply to your funding body who will assess your eligibility. You will need to provide suitable evidence of your disability.

    When your funding body confirms that you are eligible, you will be asked to make an appointment at an Assessment Centre to have a Study Needs Assessment. Your Needs Assessment Report will be sent to your funding body who will make a decision about what support to provide.