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Students Applying for Disabled Student Allowances

If you are dyslexic or have other specific learning difficulties you may be eligible for Disabled Students’ Allowances [DSA] to help you with extra study related costs.


"Don't wait until you have a confirmed place or until you start your course to apply for the Disabled Students Allowances (DSAs), apply now to make sure your support is in place for the start of term."

It takes, on average, over 10 weeks from applying for DSAs to receiving support. Applying for DSAs early means students can get their support in place before the start of term.

Tools and resources for practitioners

There are a range of tools, videos and guides for you to help students apply for DSAs, available at www.practitioners.slc.co.uk/resources. 

Below are some tips for disabled students.

New Students

Don't wait until you have a confirmed place or until you start your course to apply for DSAs, apply now at www.gov.uk/student-finance-register-login to make sure your support is in place for the start of term. Go online to apply for your main loans and grants and tick the button to apply for DSAs - we'll send you an application form.

If you've already applied for your main loans and grants, you can still apply for DSAs, download a form now from www.gov.uk/student-finance-forms. Remember we accept photocopies of disability evidence - you don't need to send originals.

If you've applied for DSAs and been told to book your assessment appointment, book it now. As soon as you've had your assessment you can get your equipment in place, ready for the start of term.

Continuing Students

Your DSA support will automatically be in place for next year. Just indicate on your main online student finance application that you want the support to continue. If you are receiving DSAs only, part-time or post-graduate you will need to re-apply each year.

If you haven't already applied for your main loans and grants, apply now online at www.gov.uk/student-finance-register-login to make sure you have all your money in place by the start of term in the autumn.

DSA only, part-time or post-graduate customers need to re-apply each year – go online at www.gov.uk/student-finance-formsand download a form now.

Tools and resources for Students

Students can find a range of tools, videos and guides to help you apply quickly and successfully for your DSAs by visiting 

To apply you will need to supply evidence of your disability.

Evidence of dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties

 You need to provide a full diagnostic report written after you were 16 from a qualified assessor who holds a current practising certificate from their relevant professional body:

  • A specialist teacher assessor holding a current SpLD Assessment Practising Certificate [APC].
  • A chartered or practitioner psychologist registered with the HCPC

The report should use the format and tests recommended in the SpLD Working Group’s Guidelines and updated Assessment Guidance.

What to do next

Contact your school, or the Disability Advisor at your university or college may be able to help arrange this.

Contact one of the organisations below.

The following organisations issue Assessment Practising Certificates to specialist teacher assessors and have lists of qualified assessors:or
  • The Health Care Professions Council [HCPC] for psychologists HCPC website.

You will need to pay for your diagnostic report.

More information on Disabled Students’ Allowances can be found on Student Finance webpage: www.thestudentroom.co.uk/studentfinance.

To check if a Specialist Teacher Assessor holds a current Assessment Practising Certificate (APC) see the listing on this SASC website:  Assessors Page