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.
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 required we’ll tell the student to book and attend a Study Needs Assessment.
They shouldn’t book a Study Needs Assessment until we’ve told them to.
Step 3 – We receive a report
After their assessment we’ll receive a report detailing the student’s needs and the assessment centre’s recommendations.
If we’ve asked them to attend an assessment and we don’t receive a report we’ll contact the student to remind them. They won’t receive DSA unless they attend.
Step 4 – We review the report
We’ll contact the student and, if they have given their consent, the disability advisor and needs assessor, to let them know if funding has been approved.
Step 5 – They arrange support
Based on their requirements and approved funding, the student should order their equipment, arrange 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 Student Finance England directly. The student can submit receipts to us for reimbursement of costs covered by their allowances. There’s more information about this included in their entitlement letter.
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
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 form.
Change of circumstances
Students should discuss any changes to their circumstances with their disability advisor as changes may affect what they can get. If they need to, they should contact Student Finance England for help.