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DSA- Disabled student allowance advice

(8 Posts)
Natkingcole9 Sun 27-Dec-15 18:40:34

Im inspired by another similar post that I've seen on this topic...
Basically I'm 22 and doing my UCAS application for the 2nd time. Had to drop out first time around due to illness. I have Fibromyalgia however I'm waiting on an appointment with a rheumatologist to determine if i have arthritis swell/instead of.. not quite sure. Ive been waiting 1.5 years on this appointment so I'm worried i won't have a firm diagnosis before uni starts.
Basically I'm looking for some info on what i should include in my Ucas application regarding my disability? and am i entitled to DSA? Im so confused and overwhelmed by it all. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you!


TheDrsDocMartens Sun 27-Dec-15 18:52:05

I have hypermobilty syndrome and claim DSA. It's worth applying, it's changed since I applied but my tutor advised me to take it as an insurance if nothing else

Natkingcole9 Sun 27-Dec-15 18:59:37

Is it a lengthy process? And is ur just done through student finance? Thanks for your reply😀

TheDrsDocMartens Sun 27-Dec-15 19:09:25

Application is a form & medical evidence then a needs assessment

Notsobadpharma Sun 27-Dec-15 19:42:29

Just a quick word of advice. The Medical Professional that writes your letter has to write what your disability is AND how it will impact your academic studies.
I got My original letter from one of our GP's I had never gone to see anyone specific and getting an appointment with my specialist was like catching fairy dust. My Uni said the letter was fine and when the time came I would be required to come for an assessment.
I had my assessment, only to be contacted by my husband - letter from SAAS, not enough info. So with the prospect of exams and a new medical practise who cant get a prescription to my pharmacy on time and I have never actually met any one of the doctors only spoken to one of them, I am being hustled for another letter to progress with the claim.
IMHO I could write the best letter but of course I cant. I eventually got in touch with an E nurse who had offered my an appointment when she started but I declined, thankfully I had saved her number. Hopefully when I return along with my exam results there will be a letter from her containing details of my diagnosis and how the side effects of the medications (which are the main issues for me) affect my studies - nothing like the 3 lines the doctor wrote back in september.

It is a pain why on earth do they want a letter from a medical professional AND an assessment. I suppose it is all about jumping through hoops whenever there is money to be handed out.

I received an email from one of the reps for one of the items that I should have been able to purchase by now. I let it all out - poor woman, and told her I would love to buy her equipment ....but.

I don't know if you have an occupational health referral or just have a good sensible doctor who will write a letter relating your condition to your studies.

Just make sure you dont get one that rattles it of i a tea break as I think mine did. It didnt even include the type of epilepsy just the age of diagnosis.

Notsobadpharma Sun 27-Dec-15 19:47:55

It has been pretty lengthy so far and it isnt over yet. I've almost chucked it in and I have invented some sweary words for SAAS.angry

smartjimmies Sun 27-Dec-15 21:33:35

My DSA application was pretty straightforward, I get it for MH issues. I expect it depends on your medical evidence and how supportive your medical professional is. I see my psych once a month so it was fairly easy for me to set out what I needed him to write.

The needs assessment is a different matter to anything medical, it is all about looking at the types of support available. I was under the old DSA system and they were quite generous - I got lots of equipment like a laptop, printer/scanner, dictaphone, specialist software and dictaphone, plus I get funding for weekly sessions with a mentor and tutor. They've cut back the funding quite a lot this year, but in theory the university should be providing support instead.

It can take a while to get the application sorted but a lot of the delay is with Student Finance or getting the medical evidence. Once I could apply for a needs assessment they were very quick.

Natkingcole9 Sun 27-Dec-15 22:38:45

Thank you for the replies grin taking all your info on board.

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