Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA)

Disabled Student’s Allowances (DSAs) are non income-assessed grants to help meet the extra costs of studying which you may face as a direct result of a disability, long term health condition or specific learning difficulty. DSAs are designed to help disabled students study on an equal basis with other students and are paid according to need.

DSAs provide help for full-time, part-time and postgraduate students. You do not have to repay DSAs and they are paid in addition to standard student funding.

DSA Rates

Disabled Student’s Allowances provide extra assistance for students who have an accessibility need and this is usually non-means tested. This help is only for costs incurred because of your access need, which other students would not normally have to cover.

2018 to 2019 academic year

Type of student Specialist equipment allowance Non-medical helper allowance General allowance
Full-time Up to £5,529 for the whole course Up to £21,987 a year Up to £1,847 a year
Part-time Up to £5,529 for the whole course Up to £16,489 a year Up to £1,385 a year

Postgraduates can get a single allowance of up to £10,993 a year.

In 2015 the Government introduced a £200 contribution towards the cost of  DSA IT equipment. If you are from a low income household you may be able to get assistance from the University. Please contact Student Advice for more information.

Applying for DSA

If you are starting your studies in 2019/2020, you can apply for DSA through Student Finance England (SFE) when the application cycle opens again (usually end of February/beginning of March). You can apply for DSA online at the same time as applying for funding for tuition fees and living costs. You will need to provide evidence of your circumstances (e.g. a letter from your GP, or an Educational Psychologist’s report).

If you do not have the required evidence to support your application for a DSA, contact Student Advice – we may be able to assist you.

Once your DSA application has been processed and agreed, you will receive a letter from the DSA Team inviting you to make an appointment with a local Needs Assessment Centre. This appointment is paid for by a DSA.

Detailed information about DSA is available at the Student Finance website.

Assistance from Student Advice

If you require any assistance making an application for, or obtaining more information about a Disabled Student’s Allowance, please contact Student Advice – we will be happy to help with filling in forms, liaising with Student Finance England on your behalf, liaising with the Assessment Centre and we can generally provide help to make sure your application for support progresses effectively.

We will be happy to discuss the details of any reasonable adjustments that have been recommended to you and we can also help you contact suppliers of any assistive technology that may have been recommended. We will provide you with a support agreement confirming the reasonable adjustments the University will put in place to help you in your studies.

Information for DSA Needs Assessors

The University’s preferred suppliers for Non-Medical Help are:

IT Equipment and Software
  • Microsoft Office is available to all BGU students from IT Services.
  • Specialist software, including SSPS, is available via the University’s IT network.
  • BGU have a site licence for Inspiration 9 and Text Help Read&Write Gold
  • BGU can support students with the DSA £200 contribution for specialist equipment if they have a household income of £25,000 or below (as assessed by Student Finance). Students will need to apply to the Learning Fund using the blue form. If the student has a household income above this amount, there may still be help available through the Learning Fund using the purple form. Please contact Student Advice if you need more information.
Accommodation

On campus, accessible accommodation is available to BGU students who have access needs. For more information, please contact Student Advice or the Accommodation Team.

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