Students who want to further their higher education and have ongoing health conditions, disabilities, mental health, or learning difficulties such as dyslexia or epilepsy should send an application for the DSA grant. The DSA application process can take between six weeks to three months depending on whether all required documents have been submitted on time.
The student will need to visit a medical practitioner or specialist and receive a medical report or GP letter or SpLD diagnostic report to describe the nature of the disability and what effects the disability has had on the student.
All information required can be found on the UK government’s website for student finance and can apply online or download the DSA application forms. If students are experiencing difficulties Access for Students can assist them with the process.
Before sending the DSA application ensure every part of the application process has been followed correctly. Should anything regarding the process be done incorrectly or omitted, the application could be denied and the student must reapply.
“Due to the number of applications, it is recommended to apply as soon as possible. If the DSA application process has been finalised early enough the student will have peace of mind once their studies begin,” said Lauren Gardener, Director, of Access for Students.
If the student is having trouble applying online they can download and complete the DSA application forms otherwise contact the Student Finance within the relevant location. The disability advisor at the chosen university or college can assist with student applications.
Once the student has received a confirmation letter of approval or DSA1 form from the Student Finance England, Student Finance Wales or Student Finance Northern Ireland they can book for a Study Needs Assessment. The assessment can be booked online via the UK Government student finance website or the NLRAC (Northern London Regional Assessment Centre).
An experienced assessor will conduct the Study Needs Assessment, which will identify the kind of support the student will need for the duration of their course. The assessor will identify any training, equipment, or software that may be needed before the course commences.
At the end of the needs assessment, the student and assessor would have agreed upon a support structure that will assist the student. The assessor will submit a report to the funding body for approval with the outline of the recommended needs and support for the student.
It may take a few weeks to receive the DSA Notification of Entitlement letter (DSA2) from the funding body. The DSA2 letter will detail the approved support and how the student can access the funds and place an order, if applicable for the equipment required. The DSA support package will assist the student to succeed and accomplish their goals.
Access for Students has assessment centres in Newport, South Wales and in the South West of the UK to assist disabled students to obtain a government allowance to further their higher education. The team of assessors will assess and provide advice to the student and work out what help will be needed to help them. The Disabled Student Allowance (DSA) fund support to provides assistance to cover any study-related costs due to mental health problems, long-term illness or any other disability. After completion of the needs assessment, the funding body (Student Finance Wales or England) will determine how the monetary support will be granted for the student to receive the much-needed DSA funding. Visit: https://www.accessforstudents.co.uk