Disabled Student’s Allowances

This is a quick, handy guide to Disabled Student’s Allowances. All of this information is relevant to Scottish Students, in the future this will be updated to contain information for students elsewhere in the UK.

What are DSAs?

DSAs are grants to help pay the extra essential costs you may have as a direct result of your disability, including a long-term health condition, mental-health condition or specific learning difficulty, such as dyslexia or dyspraxia. You don’t have to pay these back. DSAs can help with the cost of having a person to support you (such as a note-taker or a sign language interpreter), items of specialist equipment, travel and other study-related costs.

What do DSAs cover?


Large Items Allowance

What’s it for?
To help you buy any major items of specialist equipment. This can include software (such as Present Pal), printers/scanners, laptops/ personal computers, and ergonomic equipment

How much can I get?
The maximum allowance for all students in session 2019-2020 is £5,160


Non Medical Personal Help

What's it for?
To help pay for support workers (such as readers, sign language interpreters or note-takers) and other on-medical assistants you need to use to benefit fully from your course.

How much can I get?
The maximum allowance for all students in session 2019-2020 is £20,520


Basic Allowance

What's it for?
The basic allowance is to cover general expenses accumulated during the course including photocopying, printer cartridges, internet costs and USB memory sticks.

How much can I get?
The maximum allowance for all students in session 2019-2020 is £1,725

How do I apply?


1) Download application form

Applications will be available to download from www.saas.gov.uk in April. To make sure your funding is available for you at the start of your course, you should apply as soon as possible. The closing date for 2019-2020 applications is 31 March 2020.


2) Provide Evidence

You will need both diagnostic evidence to confirm your circumstances and to attend a needs assessment. A needs assessment is a report carried out by a qualified individual who lets SAAS know the type of support and equipment you will need to undertake your course. If there is no one at your college or university who can do this, SAAS will refer you to an Access Centre near where you live or study.


3) Approval and delivery of support.

SAAS will confirm what specialist equipment and other support DSAs can pay for. They will also give you any further instructions for arranging support and getting your specialist equipment