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Northern Ireland - Apply for Disabled Student Allowances (DSAs)

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Procedure[edit]

You can apply for Disabled Students' Allowances during the course as well as at the beginning and, in certain circumstances, your application can be considered before you start the course.

  1. Before applying, you must first get in touch with the DSA officer at your Education and Library Board to determine your eligibility for Disabled Students' Allowances.
  2. You must then contact the officer at your university or college who deals with student disabilities and/or learning disabilities (most institutions have a designated disabilities advisor). The officer will make arrangements to assess your needs, arising from your disability, in following the course.
  3. Your application for DSA will then be made through your adviser to the Board. It must be supported by evidence of the disability (e.g. from a doctor or educational psychologist), recommendations on the form of support needed and costs.


DSAs are paid directly from your Education and Library Board to you or to the supplier of specialist services. You do not have to repay this help.



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Required Documents[edit]

  • If you are physically disabled, or have mental health difficulties, you will need to provide medical proof of this, e.g. a letter from your doctor or an appropriate specialist.
  • If you have a specific learning difficulty (for example, dyslexia), your ELB will need evidence of this. If your diagnosis was carried out before the age of 16, you will normally be asked to undergo a top-up assessment to provide an update on your current performance in reading, writing and spelling.


Note: Before you send in your application, you should check what evidence of your disability will be needed by your ELB. This will ensure that they are satisfied with the evidence you provide.



Office Locations & Contacts[edit]

Student Finance Northern Ireland

Telephone Enquiries

  • Phone: 0300 100 0077
  • Minicom: 0300 100 0625 You must have access to a Minicom device in order to use this service

Opening hours
Monday to Friday - 8.00 am to 8.00 pm
Saturday and Sunday - 9.00 am to 4.00 pm

Website


For further advice and information please contact the DSA Officer at your ELB.

Education and Library Board Finder



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Eligibility[edit]

In order for you to qualify, your Education and Library Board (ELB) must be satisfied that your disability will mean that you will incur extra costs while you study.

  • If you are physically disabled, or have mental health difficulties, you will need to provide medical proof of this, e.g. a letter from your doctor or an appropriate specialist.
  • If you have a specific learning difficulty (for example, dyslexia), your ELB will need evidence of this. If your diagnosis was carried out before the age of 16, you will normally be asked to undergo a top-up assessment to provide an update on your current performance in reading, writing and spelling.


DSAs for postgraduate students:

  • You not be eligible for a postgraduate DSA from your Student Finance NI office if you are receiving a bursary or award from a research council, the NHS, the General Social Care Council or if your university or college provides support that is equivalent to DSAs.



Fees[edit]

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Validity[edit]

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e.g. Birth Certificate Valid Forever



Documents to Use[edit]

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Sample Documents[edit]

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Processing Time[edit]

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Related Videos[edit]

Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications. 
Attach videos using the following tag <&video type="website">video ID|width|height<&/video&> from external websites.
Please remove the "&" inside the tags during implementation.
Website = allocine, blip, dailymotion, facebook, gametrailers, googlevideo, html5, metacafe, myspace, revver, 
sevenload, viddler, vimeo, youku, youtube
width = 560, height = 340, Video ID = Can be obtained from the URL of webpage where the video is displayed.
e.g In the following url "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0US7oR_t3M" Video ID is "Y0US7oR_t3M". 
	



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Instructions[edit]

Disabled Students Allowances (DSAs): Four elements of DSA support:

  • Non-medical help: for students requiring non-medical personal assistance e.g. readers for blind students or sign-language interpreters for deaf students;
  • Specialist Equipment allowance: for help with the purchase of equipment necessary because of the student's disability e.g. computer, Braille printer, Dictaphone, Specialist Software etc.
  • General allowance: for general expenses arising from attendance at the course e.g. extra photocopying, special dietary requirements etc.
  • Travel allowance: extra travel costs you have to pay as a result of disability and not normally for everyday travel costs. You will have to pay the equivalent to the public transport rate towards your travel.


DSAs - Maximum Rates:

For students undertaking full-time undergraduate courses - maximum rates :

  • Non-medical Personal Helper :(per annum) 20,938
  • Specialist Equipment Allowance: (whole course) 5,266
  • General Allowance (per annum): 1,759
  • Travel Allowance: No upper limit


For students undertaking part-time undergraduate courses - maximum rates :

  • Non-medical Personal Helper: (per annum) 15,703
  • Specialist Equipment Allowance: (whole course) 5,266
  • General Allowance: (per annum) 1,319
  • Travel Allowance: No upper limit


DSAs for postgraduate study: For full-time and part-time students, including distance-learning students, with disabilities. You can receive one allowance of up to 10,469 to help with the extra costs you incur as a direct result of your disability whilst you study. Courses must have an entry requirement of at least a first degree and last for at least one academic year.

Your income, or that of your family, has no bearing on how much you can get. You can apply at any time before or during your course. If the course is part time, you must complete it in no longer than twice the time taken to complete an equivalent full-time course.



Required Information[edit]

A list which displays the kind of information which is required to complete the procedure.
e.g.
1. Date of Birth.
2. City or County of Birth.



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Need for the Document[edit]

The Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA) are supplementary allowances which students may avail to help pay for extra expenses that are direct result of their disability, arising from attending a higher education course. The allowances are meant to help disabled students benefit fully from their course; they are not based on household income.

Following is a procedure on how you can apply for a Disabled Students Allowances (DSAs).



Information which might help[edit]

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Other uses of the Document/Certificate[edit]

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e.g. Birth Certificate can be used as proof of identity.



External Links[edit]

  • Student Finance Northern Ireland - Website:
http://www.studentfinanceni.co.uk/portal/page?_pageid=54,1268397&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL



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Others[edit]

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