Students who are eligible for a student grant from the States of Jersey at undergraduate or postgraduate level, who incur additional costs as a result of a physical disability or specific learning difficulty, are eligible to apply for the Disabled Student Allowance (DSA).
How to apply for DSA
You should indicate your intention to apply for DSA on your grant application form (HE1), by answering ‘yes’ to one or both of the following questions:
would you like to appy for the disabled student allowance and support arrangements on the basis of a disability or a specific learning difficulty, eg dyslexia, Asperger's syndrome)?
have you been awarded access arrangements (eg extra time) during your coursework, A levels or level 3?
If you don't want to apply for a grant towards your living expenses and tuition fees because your family’s income level is over the threshold, you must still complete the application form (HE1) to be able to apply for DSA. In these cases you should elect to be a “maximum parental contributor” on the HE1 form.
Where a specific learning difficulty has been identified after you have started your course you can apply for an assessment, which will ascertain your eligibility for DSA. Contact Student Finance for more information.
How to demonstrate eligibility for DSA
If your condition has been documented at an earlier stage, a copy of your assessment report submitted for access arrangements in previous examinations should be sent to Student Finance.
If your condition has not been documented in this way, you should contact Student Finance who will provide you with details of who to contact before the start of your course.
If you are eligible for DSA, a needs assessment will be carried out by a local assessor in Jersey before you start your course. The assessment will identify the types of equipment and other support you will need, how much it will cost and where to get it from. The report will also identify any training you might need to make best use of the equipment recommended. You can also use the report as supporting evidence in establishing special examination arrangements when you are on your course.
Expenses covered by DSA
Non-medical helper’s allowance (not means tested)
This allowance is for students with a medical condition to access non-medical assistance such as a reader, sign-language interpreter or note-taker. The States of Jersey will not normally award non-medical helper's allowance in relation to study skill arising from a learning difficulty.
Support with study skills may be available from your educational institution.
Specialist equipment allowance (means tested)
This allowance is to help you buy equipment (excluding laptop computers) and any technical support costs arising from owning that equipment. We recommend that you insure your specialist equipment. The specialist equipment allowance will only normally be granted in advance of you starting your course.
There may be restrictions on this allowance if you apply after you have started your course.
If you are awarded the DSA towards the end of your course, you may be asked to consider if there are more economical alternatives to buying equipment, eg renting, hiring or borrowing equipment from your university or college. All equipment bought with DSAs is, and will stay, your property. At the end of your course you may decide to offer the equipment to your university or college for other students to use.
Expenses not covered by DSA
Needs assessments outside of Jersey
If you require a needs assessment you should contact Student Finance as soon as possible for an assessment to be carried out in Jersey. If you have already had an assessment elsewhere, the cost of this cannot be claimed from the States of Jersey.
Repeat periods of study
DSA allowances cannot be granted for repeat periods of study.
Non course related disability expenses
DSA allowances cannot be granted for disability-related expenses that you would have to pay, whether you were following your course or not.
If your application is successful, you will be told the amount of help you can have from the DSA before the start of your course so that you may use them from the very beginning of your studies. The States of Jersey will pay invoices directly to suppliers for services such as study skills support and non-medical helpers upon receipt of an invoice and time sheet.
You can either purchase and pay for equipment directly and forward receipts to Student Finance for reimbursement or arrange for a supplier to provide the equipment and invoice Student Finance, who will pay the supplier directly.
You can only claim for the items listed in your assessment report. Equipment will be listed with a guide price and you should contact Student Finance for approval before buying, if the cost of your items differs significantly from the guide prices.
The States of Jersey will ask for evidence that you have been accepted on your course before they do this.
Changes to your disability
If your disability becomes more severe during your course of study, you can apply to Student Finance to have another DSA needs assessment to identify any extra support you might need.
Withdrawing from course
If you don't start the course or leave within 12 months you will be required to pay back any DSA awarded towards the cost of equipment.