Disabled Students’ Allowances, or DSAs, are allowances which cover the additional expenses that disabled students encounter during their studies. They are designed to aid people with disability-related costs directly associated with studying. As a result, they are not intended to cover costs which a disabled person would have, whether they were a student or not, or costs which every student has.
DSAs are grants and do not need to be paid back. They are available to people with a recognised disability or learning difficulty, who are ordinarily UK residents, and who are studying on one of the courses covered by the scheme. These courses include:
- Full or part-time undergraduate bachelor’s degrees.
- Master’s degrees.
- Foundation degrees and sandwich courses.
- NHS-funded study programmes.
- Postgraduate Certificates in Education (PGCEs).
- Legal Practice Courses (LPCs) and Graduate Diplomas in Law (GDLs).
- Distance learning and Open University courses, if study amounts to at least 25% of the full-time equivalent.
Unlike most sources of finance for students, DSAs are not paid in set amounts and depend on the individual needs of the student. They are also not means-tested, which means they do not vary depending on a student’s income or the income of their family. DSAs are divided into four seperate allowances, as follows:
Specialist Equipment Allowance
Intended to provide disabled students with the necessary equipment to get the maximum from their programme, specialist equipment allowance covers the cost of the equipment itself, along with repairs, insurance, warranty and training in how to use it. Any equipment purchased with the allowance becomes the property of the student and does not need to be returned upon completion of a course.
Common items of equipment covered by the grant include:
- Software packages, e.g. voice recognition or screen-reading software.
- Specialist furniture.
For both full-time and part-time students, the maximum value of equipment bought through the scheme is £5,161.
Non-Medical Helpers Allowance
Many students suffering from disabilities or learning difficulties require personal assistance in order to fulfill what is expected of them. The non-medical helpers allowance portion of DSA is intended to pay for the wages and costs of people involved in this process. Examples of helpers covered by the scheme include:
- Sign language interpreters.
- Mobility enablers.
Specialist tuition may also fall under this category, although additional tuition in the academic subject itself is not covered. An example of specialist tuition covered by non-medical helpers allowance is dyslexic students who require study skills support. Full-time students can claim up to £20,520 per year in non-medical helpers allowance, while part-time students can claim a maximum of £15,390.
In addition to the above allowances, a general allowance is available for use in covering extra disability-related costs, or as sundry items. Examples include:
- Additional books.
- Expenses related to additional photocopying e.g. paper, ink cartridges and photocopying charges.
- Internet connections.
It can, essentially, be used to ‘top up’ the other allowances. For full-time students, the maximum general allowance per year is £1,724.
Apart from in Scotland, students may also be able to claim for disability-related travel costs. These must be expenses which would not be faced without the disability. Typically, student loans provide around £300 for travel costs and so the DSA for travel will usually pay the difference between this and the actual costs faced by a disabled student. The actual amount granted to the student is determined by a needs assessment that must be carried out by a DSA QAG approved centre.
- License: Image author owned
- License: Image author owned
By Nick Davison
This guest post was written by Nick Davison, Nick writes about a number of disibility and education related subjects
- 5 College Student Tips for Off-Campus Living
- 5 Ways for College Students to Find Safe an Affordable Off-Campus Housing
- The Education Evolution
- 5 Tips For Becoming A Nurse
- Best Custom Writing Service
- Student Loans Cause Stress- How To Stop The Stress
- The Ins And Outs Of A Federal Loan Repayment Plan
- Reducing And Avoiding Student Loan Debt
- What You Need To Know About Becoming A Fire Investigator
- UK Dissertation Writing Services
- If You Are Not Careful Your Credit Score Can Be Affected By Your Student Loans
- The Options Given To Pay Back Your Student Loans
- Top everyday activities for students that can help to earn some quick cash
- New Zealand Population Needs Immigration Boost
- Interested In The Health Field? 4 Tips For Choosing Your Career Path
- 4 smart tips for making students loan payments the right way
- Working and Attending School Online
- Should You Go Back To School For Your Master’s Degree? 3 Questions To Ask Yourself
- Elements That Influence The Learning Environment In Schools
- Tips For Getting Started With Your First Year Of Law School
- Have You Considered Volunteering Abroad?
- 5 Tips for Attending College Without Going Broke
- How to Make Your College Experience Worth the Cost
- 5 Easy and Effective Ways to Cut Back on Your Spending in College
- How To Get A Job In The Finance Industry
TagsBusiness career careers classes college courses debt degree earnmoney education essay essays finance financial grants highschool job jobs loan loans masters mba money nursing onlineclasses onlineeducation papers resume savingmoney scholarships school schools Stafford loan student studentloan student loan studentloans Student Loans students teachers tech Technology training university writing
- apply online
- Auto Debit Reward
- budget flexibility
- career college
- community college
- Continuing Education
- credit cards
- credit score
- Cyber Security
- degree granting school
- earning money
- education costs
- Education Courses
- education planning
- education tips
- fixed interest rates
- friends and family
- gap year
- graduate programs
- Graduate School
- high school
- job market
- law school
- learning online
- online college
- online courses
- online education
- private student loans
- saving money
- student guides
- student loan alternatives
- student loan specialists
- student loans
- study tips
- time off school
- toll-free number
- traditional college