Full-time Disabled Students' Allowance

Application process

Step 1 – Apply online

If they’re applying for other student finance, they’ll be asked on their main application if they want to apply for DSA.


When they’ve finished their main application, they’ll be able to apply for DSA online.


Once they’ve submitted their DSA application, they’ll be told what evidence they need to submit.


If they only want to apply for DSA and no other type of student finance, they’ll need to complete a DSA1 application form, which they can download at www.gov.uk/studentfinance once the service opens.


All students will be asked to provide evidence of their disability. Students can submit a digital copy of their evidence through their online account. The application will be delayed if their evidence is missing or incorrect.


Step 2 – We review their application

We’ll review the application and supporting evidence. It can take around 14 weeks to process an application so they should apply as soon as possible to make sure they get their support in time for the start of their course.


If they’re eligible for DSA, we’ll send them a letter with details of their supplier to arrange their needs assessment. If they give permission, we’ll pass their details directly to the supplier who’ll be in touch to arrange this.


They won’t get their DSA unless they attend.


Step 3 – We receive a report

After their assessment we’ll get a report detailing the student’s needs and the assessor's recommendations.


Step 4 – We review the report

We’ll contact the student and, if they have given their consent, the disability adviser and needs assessor, to let them know if their funding has been approved.


Step 5 – Arranging support

Based on their requirements and approved funding, the supplier will contact the student to arrange their equipment and Assistive Technology (AT) training. The student should arrange their non-medical help and make any purchases they need to help with their course.


They shouldn’t buy any equipment until their funding is confirmed because we can’t reimburse any purchases before the date their entitlement letter is sent.

Step 6 – We’ll make payment

Suppliers should invoice us directly. The student can submit receipts to us to claim for costs covered by their DSA. There’s more information about this included in their entitlement letter.


Change of circumstances

Students should discuss any changes to their circumstances with their disability adviser, as changes may affect what they can get. If they need to, they should contact us for help.

Continuing into next year

Students who don’t need to reapply

Full-time undergraduate students don’t need to reapply for DSA each year if:

  • they got DSA the previous year
  • they took out a Maintenance Loan or Tuition Fee Loan, or both
  • they’re continuing on the same course

Students who need to reapply

Students should reapply each academic year if they:

    • didn’t take out a Maintenance Loan or Tuition Fee Loan
    • change their course
    • change from full-time to part-time study, or from part-time to full-time
    • have suspended their studies and changed their course end date
    • withdrew from their course and are returning to study
    • are repeating a year of study

Top-up courses

If they’re studying a top-up course and are getting other student finance like a Tuition Fee Loan or Maintenance Loan they only need to complete a DSA Slim form for their DSA to continue.


If they only want to apply for DSA and no other student finance, they’ll need to fill in a DSA1 application form.