Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) is a non-repayable grant that is available to students who’s learning is impacted by their disabilities and diagnosed conditions. There are a wide range of mental health conditions which students are diagnosed with that can cause them to struggle academically as a result and therefore stand as an eligibility to receive DSA funding. But what exactly are students with mental health conditions entitled to?
What mental health conditions are eligible for DSA?
This is a list of numerous (but not limited to) mental health conditions which are classed as eligible disabilities for DSA support:
- Generalised Anxiety Disorder
- Panic Disorder
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Separation Anxiety Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Bipolar Disorder
- Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD or EUPD)
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Eating Disorders
- Disruptive behaviour and dissocial disorders
- Neurological and Developmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
Mental health conditions such as these and further of similar levels can impact a student’s learning in a number of ways. Predominantly, day-to-day activity, energy levels and mindset can be altered as a result of the struggles that come with these diagnoses. A student may be unable to attend lectures due to intense symptoms of their condition which limits them access to their required learning and resources as a result. It is also important to note that mental health conditions can be triggered by unexpected events and situations/experiences. It is often not possible for students with mental health diagnoses to predict their health levels and this can be debilitating and cause further stress and difficulty to the student in relation to their ability to learn and carry out work to an equal level of those without these struggles.
What can DSA provide to students with mental health conditions to aid their learning?
The forms of DSA which a student with one or more mental health conditions are offered will vary depending on their diagnosis and the severity of their symptoms. Students with a form of anxiety disorder will benefit from being offered DSA in the form of assistive software and study technology such as a Jamworks Pro subscription. They can use this app during their lectures or while watching a recording via Teams to make notes and reduce the stress of missing out on importan content. Students with mental health conditions can benefit from DSA offers such as a laptop and printer to enable and encourage students to work from home during periods of illness and low mood. This technology will give them access to resources and communication with student services to take their studies at a pace that works for them. Additionally, DSA offers such as a study skills helper and non-medical helper can aid students with a mental health condition to improve their ability to take notes and revise for exams and completion of assignments.
Will I get a payment from DSA for my mental health condition?
Even though DSA is a non-repayable grant available to students with mental health conditions, unless you are a student in Scotland, you will not receive your DSA through payment form. Following your needs assessment, the DSA offers decided for your situation will be issued to you directly. This is different for students in Scotland, who will receive the payment to their bank account, along with the recommendations for what this payment should be used for in order to support their learning as a result of their disability.
How much DSA can I be offered for a mental health condition?
Here are the maximum figures which students eligible for DSA can be offered in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland:
- England – £25,575
- Wales – £32,546
- Scotland – £25,680
- Northern Ireland – £25,000
Regardless of the severity of your mental health condition, if you are eligible to apply for DSA it is recommended to do so as any help that you can get to aid you in your studies will be beneficial in the long run.