Find out about different types of financial support to help you with your studies if you have a disability.
Disabled Students’ Allowance
If you are a UK student, you may be entitled to Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA).
These can cover some of the extra costs you may have because of a disability, such as:
- specialist equipment
- assistive software and hardware for your studies
- travel to and from your place of study
- non-medical helpers (like a BSL interpreter or a specialist mentor).
DSA is not a loan – you will never have to pay back any money or return any equipment you receive. They will not affect your finances or welfare benefits.
If you are not a UK national, you may be eligible for DSA if you:
- have lived in the UK for the past five years or longer
- have settled status or indefinite leave to remain in the UK
- are a postgraduate student funded by a UK Research Council.
We may be able to cover the cost of some additional study support. The amount and type of support depends on your circumstances and what we consider reasonable to fund.
We may fund one-to-one mentoring or study skill sessions for students with autism, mental health difficulties or Specific Learning Differences.
How to apply for DSA
There are a few steps you need to go through:
- gather evidence of your disability
- download form DSA1 from the UK government website
- add your evidence to the DSA1 form
- email your form to the funding provider.
We can help you apply for DSA. Get in touch through My Sussex if you would like more advice or to arrange a drop-in session with a Disability Advisor.
You’ll get an outcome within three weeks.
If your application is successful, you’ll be told to book a needs assessment.
You can choose whether to do the assessment remotely or attend your nearest needs assessment centre in-person.
You’ll be sent a report from your assessment by email explaining the support you’ve been recommended.
The funding provider also gets the report and will let you know what support you’re getting.
Getting your support
Once your funding has been approved, you’ll get this in a letter or email. It will explain what you’re eligible for and which supplier is providing it.
You can then order the support you need through the supplier.
If you have any problems or questions when doing this, get in touch through My Sussex.
Everyday living, personal care and medical care
You may be able to get funding for:
- everyday living, such as getting up, cooking, eating, getting around and going to bed
- personal care, like washing, bathing, getting dressed and using the toilet
- medical care, such as taking medication or changing dressings.
You need to contact your local council to get this kind of care. If you’re living in Brighton and Hove, find out about local social services and care assessments.
Important: Neither DSA, nor the University, can cover the cost of everyday living, personal care or medical care. Instead, you’ll need to contact your local authority.
If you already receive care, it’s best to arrange this before you start university.
If you’re an international student, make sure you have funding in place for social and personal care before you arrive.
Hardship funding and welfare loans from the University
There are other types of funding available for students who are struggling financially.
You can also contact our Funding team for money advice.
Other benefits from the local council
Some welfare benefits may also cover additional non-study-related costs that arise from your disability. Getting these can be a long process.
Find out about welfare benefits from Brighton and Hove City Council or check with your own local authority.