Version 1.0 - Last Updated: 16 Feb 2021

Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)


Q1: Will you give us information to share with students about the current arrangements? 

A: We feel that it is more appropriate for universities and colleges to develop their own communications for their students. This will let you reflect any bespoke arrangements you have in place. You can of course use the messages in our FAQ to inform your own communications.

Q2: How will you deal with course extensions? 

A: The below gives information on how we will deal with course extension scenarios. These approaches are in line with the regulatory framework. We are not able to apply discretion in this matter.

Course extension is within the academic year (not a final year student)

In these cases we can pay for DSA support that is taken within the academic year. We do not need confirmation from you for each student. 

Course extension is outside the academic year (not a final year student)

We will continue to pay invoices as normal if: 

  • you are allowing extensions past the end of the standard academic year
  • the student is not in their final year 
  • we have received and accepted an application for AY 2020/21 

The date of the support will determine which year to make the payment from according to normal processes.

Course extension is within the academic year but after the course end date (final year student)

We need evidence of the new end date from the student's university or college. We will need this for each customer. This can come directly from the university or college, or via the non-medical help supplier or the student. We will pay invoices up to the new end date.

Course extension is outside the academic year (final year student)

If a final year student in AY 2019/20 has their course extended into AY 2020/21, the student must:
  • be enrolled for AY 2020/21
  • have had an application for DSA support in 2020/21 accepted by us

If this applies, they can receive DSA support.

Providers should confirm course end dates with the student. These should not be requested from us.

Q3: Will you be telling providers about any suspended courses?

A: No, it has never been our practice to tell providers about suspended courses and we cannot introduce it. In line with established procedures, providers should be speaking to their customers. If they are told that a student’s course has been suspended, they should stop providing support.

Q4: How do students who are at the end of their course get support in place quickly? 

A: We have a late application process. Under this, a student’s disability adviser can make recommendations for non-medical help and general allowance. They can do this without the need for the student to have a full needs assessment. This process is available to any student who has less than 14 weeks left on their course and has not yet had a needs assessment.

Q6: When should providers of needs assessments, non-medical help and equipment start working with students face to face? 

A: It is for individual companies to ensure they are undertaking assessments in a COVID-secure manner in line with government guidance. It would not be appropriate for us to provide guidance about this.

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