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Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA)

Disabled students who are living in the UK (i.e. ‘home’ students) can apply to Student Finance England or the NHS (depending on their course) for a DSA. DSAs will pay for any extra study-related costs that are a direct result of your disability. DSAs aren’t means-tested and they do not need to be paid back.

If you have any disability, including mental health difficulties and other unseen disabilities such as dyslexia and medical conditions, you may be eligible for a DSA. You’ll need to send up-to-date evidence with your DSA application, such as a doctor’s letter or educational psychologist’s report.

You can apply for DSAs at any time during your course but we strongly recommend you do so as soon as possible as the process can take up to 3 months. To apply for, or get advice about, DSAs you can either contact us or go straight to the student support team at your funding body.

Disabled Students' Allowance forms

There are different DSA application forms for the different funding bodies. Please download the appropriate form as outlined below.

DSA application forms for 2020/21 are now available:

  • DSA Application Form - Short (Slim) -   If you have already completed an application for the Student Loan, grants and busaries available to full time students (or you are intending to do so). Excludes NHS students.
  • DSA Application Form - Full (Long) - If you have not done the above or if you are a part time or postgraduate student,  or studying your course by distance learning. Excludes NHS students
  • Guidance notes (pdf) - These may help you complete the DSA1 forms.
  • Claim form - For general allowances (e.g. travel costs, consumables related to your disability).
  • NHS Students with a bursary - If you are expecting to receive a busary from the NHS or Department of Health (e.g. Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy courses) login to your Bursary Online Support System (BOSS) 

What next?

If your DSA application is approved, you will be asked to go for a needs assessment. The support you get depends on your individual needs but you may be recommended any of the following:

Special equipment

  • computers /laptops*
  • disability software
  • computer furniture for students’ residence
  • furniture used for study purposes
  • recording devices

*The government introduced changes to DSAs during 2015/16 and now all receiving their DSA from Student Finance England are asked to pay the first £200 towards the cost of a computer.  However, Brunel will pay this cost for all fully enrolled students (further details are available here).

Non-medical helpers:

  • training in the use of disability software
  • 1:1 study skills tuition
  • 1:1 mentoring
  • note takers for visually impaired and hearing impaired students
  • interpreters for lectures and seminars

General allowances:

  • photocopying costs
  • disability-related travel costs
  • consumables (batteries, cartridges, printing paper)

For advice and guidance about DSAs, including how and when to apply, contact our service via the Student Support and Welfare Team:

Location:           Howell Building
Tel:                     +44 (0)1895 267045
Email:                studentsupport@brunel.ac.uk