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Disabled Students' Allowance

Find out about non-medical helper support rates at Kingston University.

What is the Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA)?

The Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) provides funding for disability-related support at University. The support it can fund includes:

  • specialist equipment eg a dictaphone and specialist software
  • one-to-one support eg a tutor, mentor, support worker or interpreter
  • travel costs in some cases where a disability affects your ability to use public transport.

The allowance is not means tested and does not have to be paid back.

Please be aware you will be asked to make a £200 contribution to any DSA equipment recommended. This can be reimbursed if you do enrol as a student at Kingston University. Please discuss this with us if you start as a student here.

Am I eligible?

You can apply for Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs) if you have a disability, for example:

  • long-term health condition
  • mental health condition
  • specific learning difficulty like dyslexia or dyspraxia.

You must also:

  • be an undergraduate or postgraduate student (including Open University or distance learning)
  • have a condition that affects your ability to study
  • qualify for student finance from Student Finance England or the NHS Bursary Unit
  • be studying on a course that lasts at least a year.

How do I apply?

To apply, you will need to download and complete an application form and will also be asked to provide supporting evidence. The application should be made to the relevant funding body. Information on how to apply alongside the relevant application forms can be accessed below.

You can apply for DSA up to one year in advance of your course or at any point during your studies at university whether an applicant or a current student, we are available for support and advice about applying for DSA.

Find out more about Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs).

What happens next?

Once your funding body has decided whether you are eligible, it may arrange for you to visit an appropriate specialist agency, such as the National Federation of Access Centres, for an assessment of equipment and study needs.

The person who carries out the assessment will advise you on the types of equipment and support available and make recommendations to your funding body. The funding body will then arrange with you for payment of the allowance, and advise you on ordering your equipment, etc.

I've applied for DSA. How long does it take?

You should hear back from the funding body you have applied for confirming whether or not you are eligible or asking for more information. If confirmed as eligible, you will then need to book a Needs Assessment. Find a Needs Assessor using the postcode search tool.

At your Needs Assessment your Needs Assessor will advise you on the types of equipment and support available specific to your disability and how it affects you. They will then produce a Needs Assessment Report and send it to you and your funding body. You funding body will then write to you confirming the support they will fund. Please read this letter carefully as it will explain to you how to order equipment you have been recommended.

How long does it take to  get support in place?

Please allow a minimum of two months, from the point of sending off an application for DSA, for the process to be completed. The process may be longer or shorter depending on various factors for example whether the medical or diagnostic evidence you have provided is sufficient or the number of other DSA applications your funding body is processing at the time.

To limit the time it takes to get support in place, we recommend you apply as early as possible and ideally before you arrive at university

How much help might I get?

The support recommended and funded will depend on your individual support requirement. The type and amount of allowance available depends on whether you are a full- or part-time, undergraduate or postgraduate student.

A useful guide on the amount of allowances you will receive can be accessed from the Government website.

As an international student I'm not eligible for DSA – is there other support I can receive?

Please speak to an adviser regarding support that you may require as funding may be available for support which DSA would fund if you were eligible for it.

Please contact us to discuss your individual requirements.

Contact us

Disability and mental health support

Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 7314
Fax: +44 (0)20 8417 7561
Email us

Contact us

Disability and mental health support

Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 7314
Fax: +44 (0)20 8417 7561
Email us

Website accessibility

We aim to make sure that all pages published on the Kingston University website are fully accessible for visitors with a disability.

What our students say

What our students say

"My specialist dyslexia tutor was proactive, caring, supportive but professional. She really took time to assess my needs and challenge me to perform."