The Disabled Students' Allowance

The Disabled Students’ Allowance

 If you have a formal diagnosis of a disability or specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia, you may be eligible for additional funding from Student Finance England when you progress to higher education. This funding is called the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) and full details of the allowance and the types of support that can be funded can be found on the DfES website

In order to apply for this allowance, you must provide evidence of your disability or specific learning difficulty. This could be a medical report from your doctor or, in the case of dyslexia, a formal ‘diagnostic assessment’ from a psychologist or suitably qualified specialist.

Please note that the internal screening test conducted at University which may have identified dyslexic traits, is not a formal diagnosis of dyslexia.

For a set fee, we are able to arrange a formal assessment by a dyslexia consultant here at University.  Alternatively, you could arrange to have an assessment carried out privately at any Dyslexia Action office. Once you have an up-to-date report, you will be able to apply for the DSA as soon as you have confirmation of a university place for the next academic year.

If you are unable to fund an assessment yourself, you can wait until you start your degree course at your chosen university and apply as early as possible for funding from them. You will need to contact the university’s Disability Services for further information about this.

How to apply for the Disabled Students’ Allowance


  • Tick the ‘Disabled Students’ Allowance’ box on the student finance application form (PN1). Student Finance England will then send you an application form (DSA1) and a guidance booklet


  • Download copies of the form and the guidance booklet from the DfES website and send to Student Finance England


  • If your application is successful, you will receive a letter from Student Finance England confirming your entitlement to the allowance  and advising you that you will need to have a Study Needs Assessment

 Study Needs Assessment

  • You can arrange to have this assessment carried out at a university Access Centre close to your home or at Leeds. Frances Bosley can arrange for your assessment to be carried out at Leeds University. You must have a current report of your disability and the letter of confirmation from Student Finance England before you can book the assessment.

At you assessment, you will meet with an assessor who will talk to you about your disability/learning difficulty and how it may affect your studies. The assessor may demonstrate any appropriate equipment or software.

  • The Study Needs Assessment report will be sent to you. Once you have signed to say that you agree with its findings and have returned the report, a copy will be sent to Student Finance England.


  • Student Finance England will send you a letter informing you of the equipment and support that they agree to fund. They will also specify the suppliers and give you their contact details.

The disability advisor at your chosen university can help you with this.

Follow the link below for more information on the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA)