Applying for DSA

You can apply for the Disabled Student Allowance by following these 5 steps.

 Step 1: Fill in the DSA application form

Complete and send the relevant DSA 1 form to start the process, informing Student Finance England that you would like some support. The strength of your application can be enhanced by providing evidence supplied by a health care professional.

If you believe that you may have a learning disability, you will need to complete a ‘post 16 diagnostic report’. This can be done through a chartered or practitioner psychologist, or a specialist teacher with a Assessment Practising Certificate.

Please complete one of these forms:

DSA 1 "Short" form - if you are applying for DSA and other student finance.

DSA 2 "Full" form - if you are only applying for DSA or you are a part time, post-graduate or distance learning student.

Congratulations for taking the first step to your solution!

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 Step 2: Find out if you are eligible

When Student Finance England (SFE) receives your application, they will consider all the information that you have provided and will send you a letter to let you know whether you have qualified for the DSA. You should receive this letter around 2 weeks after the SFE receive your application.

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 Step 3: Attend a ‘Needs Assessment’

When you have received confirmation that you are eligible for a DSA grant, you will need to arrange a ‘Needs Assessment’. Your needs assessment will identify the support that you require, whether it be in the form of specialist equipment and software or any other support you will need for your studies.

You can find the nearest assessment centre to you by visiting the National Network of Assessment Centres website:

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 Step 4: Your needs assessment report

After your needs assessment you will receive a report that will identity:

  • Your recommended support
  • How much it will cost
  • Where you get your support from

Student Finance England will also have a copy of your needs assessment report.

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 Step 5: Find out how much the DSA can pay for

At this stage you will receive a letter from Student Finance England, letting you know whether the recommendations in your needs assessment report will be partially or fully covered. You will be able to place your order at this point. You can see the process for ordering and receiving your solution here.

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