Full-time Disabled Students' Allowance

Study Needs Assessment

A Study Needs Assessment is an informal meeting between the student and an experienced study needs assessor. It helps work out what support the student will need based on their individual needs.

Students will be given details of their supplier dealing with their needs assessment in their DSA1 eligibility letter. The supplier will contact the student to book their needs assessment.

They can attend a needs assessment by online video call or in person, even if they don’t have a confirmed place yet.

They should send any medical evidence their supplier has asked for to their needs assessor, before they attend their assessment. This will be the same evidence they have given us as part of their application for DSA.



They don’t need to pay the costs of their needs assessment. Any travel costs, to and from the assessment centre, can be claimed back once their DSA has been approved by sending us the receipts.


Changes to the agreed support

If they want any additional support that hasn't been agreed as part of their DSA, they should speak to their needs assessor.


Changes to their needs

A review of their study needs can be carried out if their circumstances have changed.

A review can be agreed if:

  • they’ve had a gap in their studies of 2 years or longer
  • their last assessment or review took place 5 or more years ago.


A new condition

If they give medical evidence for a new condition, we'll confirm whether they need to have their needs reviewed.

Any review costs will be paid for by their DSA.


Worsening of an already accepted condition

If they give evidence that an already accepted condition has worsened, they should contact their needs assessor. They may also want to discuss this with their disability adviser.


Can they change their assessment centre?

If the student has any issues with their assessment centre, they should firstly speak to their supplier. If this can’t be resolved, the student should contact us to let us know about their issues.