Guide to Disabled Student Allowance

Daisy Marshallon 30 September 2022
A braille keyboard, an example of the kind of specialist equipment Disabled Students Allowance can help with

Everything you need to know about any extra learning support you may be entitled to this year.

If you're starting university and have a disability that affects your study, then you should definitely apply for a Disabled Student Allowance. This could potentially make a positive difference to your learning and be a huge help throughout your course.

What is Disabled Students Allowance? 

The allowance covers the extra costs you may face as a result of a mental, physical, developmental or learning disability. Students can gain support of up to £25,575 a year. It's totally worth applying for as you don't need to pay this allowance back! Plus it doesn't matter how old you are when you apply for this allowance. 

What do you get with Disabled Student Allowance?

A Disabled Student Allowance comes with many benefits. For example, you're able to get specialist equipment such as a computer or headset to help with your disability. But remember, if you're granted a laptop or computer you will need to pay the first £200.

Computer software, having a printer for proofreading as well as photocopying costs can be paid for. If your disability means you need extra support travelling to attend your course, this can also be covered.

A non-medical helper allowance is included for those who need it. This helps pay for support workers such as readers or note-takers required in exams as well as sign language interpreters. 

Who is eligible for a Disabled Student Allowance?

To apply for a Disabled Student Allowance an individual has to:

Be an undergraduate or postgraduate student for a course that lasts at least a year.

Qualify for student finance from Student Finance England.

Have a disability listed below:

  • Learning or developmental disabilities like dyslexia or ADHD
  • Physical disabilities like those using a wheelchair or other mobility aid
  • Mental health conditions like anxiety or depression
  • Long-standing conditions like epilepsy or chronic heart disease

It's important to know that you cannot get a Disabled Student Allowance if you are an EU student on a higher or degree apprenticeship course.

Process to get a Disabled Student Allowance

The process to get a Disabled Student Allowance is only a few simple steps. After you have submitted your main student finance application, you will be able to apply for a Disabled Student Allowance. You will need to submit evidence to Student Finance England to support your application.

For a long-term physical or mental health condition this would consist of a report or letter from your doctor. For a specific learning disability, this would include a copy of a diagnostic assessment from a psychologist or qualified teacher.

After the evidence is approved by Student Finance England, a study needs assessment may take place to find out what support you need. For example, you may discuss what type of equipment you need such as a laptop – exciting!

Even though it is not a complicated process to apply for the allowance, it can take around 14 weeks. So, it's best to send your application in as early as possible. This way, you're best set up for the beginning of your uni course.

Does your uni do enough to help disabled students? Join the Student Hut Opinion Panel and let us know. You get 1000 points just for signing up. 

Daisy Marshallon 30 September 2022