Apply for the Disabled Students Allowance

How you apply for the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) depends on your course level, whether you are full-time or part-time, your funding body (who pays your fees or loan) and proof of your home address. 

Before you apply you can check your eligibility

Contact Us
If you need to contact the disability team please do so at disability@contacts.bham.ac.uk or on 0121 414 5130. 

Application instructions

Full-time undergraduate students from England

You can apply for the Disabled Students Allowance though Student Finance England (SFE).  

Alternatively you can download a paper form from GOV.UK's Student Finance Forms webpage and post it to SFE.  

If you do not get any funding through Student Finance England or you do not intend to apply for loans or grants through Student Finance England, you must complete the DSA1 'full form', which can be found on the Gov.uk website. Students completing this form should bring the completed form, along with the relevant evidence of your disability, to the University's Aston Webb Student Hub. We will stamp it and forward the application to Student Finance England. Please contact us if you require any help with this.

Part-time undergraduate students and distance learning students from England

You should apply using the 'DSA1 full form', which you can download from the Gov.uk website. If you apply for financial support through Student Finance England, there is a tick box on the application form to say you have a disability. If you tick this you will be sent a copy of the DSA1 form automatically.

Please send the completed form, along with the relevant evidence of your disability, to the University Aston Webb Student Hub. We will stamp it and forward the application to Student Finance England. Please contact us if you require any help with this.

Postgraduate students from England

How you apply depends on your funding body.

Research Council funded postgraduate students

If you receive a Research Council funded studentship and you wish to claim DSA, please contact us and we can check your eligibility and advise on the process for applying.  

Non-Research Council funded postgraduate students

If you are funded directly by the University or you are self-funded, you can claim DSA from Student Finance England. Please complete the full version of the DSA1 form, which can be downloaded from the Gov.uk website

Please send the completed form, along with the relevant evidence of your disability, to Aston Webb Student Hub. We will stamp it and forward the application to Student Finance England. Please contact us if you require any help with this.

Research associates or assistants

If you are employed by the University as a research associate or assistant, and registered for a research degree, you should apply for both Access to Work and DSA funding.

DSAs will be provided by either the relevant Research Council or Student Finance England. Please see the two sections above on Research-Council funded and non-Research Council funded postgraduate students for information on how to apply.

If you are unsure about the source of your funding

If you are not sure what type of funding applies to you, please contact us via the details above. 

Other UK students

Apply for DSAs through your funding body:

NHS Bursary and Social Work Bursary

If you have a NHS bursary scheme or Social Work Bursary you can apply directly for a Disabled Students Allowance. 

International and EU students

DSAs are only available to students who are ordinarily resident in the UK and have lived here for at least three years. If you’re ordinarily resident in another country then you will not qualify for DSAs. This applies even if you’re a European Union (EU) resident and can get help with your tuition fees.

Please see our international students page for more information about funding for non-UK students.

Alternative formats

Contact Student Finance England if you need copies of the form and guidance booklet in an alternative format. They are available in large print, braille and audio versions.

When to apply

 

Current students

You can apply for the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) anytime during your academic career.

Students starting in the next academic year

If you are due to start your course in the next academic year, you can apply for the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) as soon as you've sent in your UCAS application.

If you are awaiting a decision from UCAS, you can still apply for DSA. Put your first choice university down on the application form and then, if necessary, you can change this later.

Students taking a gap year

If you are planning on taking a gap year, you do not need to apply until the year you plan on starting (i.e. early 2019 if you’re starting in September 2019).

Next steps

If your application is successful

Once they have received your application and proof of disability, your funding body should write and say if your application has been successful. If it is, they will ask you to have a needs assessment at an approved Access Centre. Find your nearest access centre on the DSA Quality Assurance Group website.

Getting your equipment

If equipment is recommended, you will be sent information about which supplier to contact. When you call, you will be asked for the reference number on the letter from the funding body and then you can arrange a convenient date and time for delivery. The supplier will normally invoice your funding body directly. Once the equipment is delivered, it is yours to keep.

Other support

The University will be sent a copy of your assessment and any additional support, which is recommended under the non-medical helper allowance, and arranged by the relevant team within Aston Webb Student Hub.

If you are given an allowance for travel expenses or consumables such as printer cartridges, you are expected to pay up front and submit receipts to the funding body for a refund. You will need to fill in claim form for reimbursement of costs through DSA.