We can give you advice regarding your student funding and welfare benefits. We offer impartial and independent advice about any problems or difficulties you may experience with University services. If you have any questions after reading this information, please contact us.
The University Disabled Student Support Team are specialised in co-ordinating support for disabled students at the University. If you have any problems with your learning contract or Disabled Student Allowance then, in first instance, you should contact them directly
What services does the Students' Union provide for disabled students?
If you have any condition which you think will affect your ability to fully engage with University life it is recommended that you seek further advice as soon as possible. This will enable the University to determine what support you may need and put this support in place before you begin your studies.
For more information about the University's Disabled Student Support team see here.
In addition The University offers a Wellbeing Service, find more information here
What funding and benefits am I entitled to?
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Students with a disability may be able to claim additional funding from Student Finance England, NHS Bursaries (if applicable) and/or through state benefits if they meet the eligibility criteria.
Students with a disability may be able to apply for Disabled Students Allowance in addition to their main Student Finance England Funding, to contribute towards additional costs the student is obliged to incur. 'Obliged to occur' means that the support is essential to enabled the student to access their studies.
A student can only receive support for a designated course and they must meet the Eligibility Criteria and provide medical evidence. It is important to apply as soon as you think you might be eligible and need support.
Disabled students may get help towards the cost of:
- Specialist equipment
- A non-medical helper
A general allowance for small, ongoing additional expenses that you might have because of your disability, for example extra printer paper or photocopying.
DSA should supplement the provision of reasonable adjustments made by the University. DSA is not intended to assist with disability related expenditure that a student would incur if they were not following a course of study.
Local authority social services may continue to provide assistance towards personal care costs that will be incurred irrespective of whether or not the student is attending their course.
The University's Disabled Student Support Service has more information on its webpages click here for more.
There is additional information about DSA and who can claim here.
Full time students on courses funded by the NHS can apply for an NHS disabled students allowance
Disabled students fall into one of the few categories of students who may be able to claim benefits. If you qualify for certain elements of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payments (PIP), you may be able to claim Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support (though single full-time students are exempt from paying Council Tax, so in most cases there won’t be a bill to pay).
There may be other circumstances in which you can claim benefits, such as if you take time out from your studies.
The amount you get may be affected by income you already have coming in and some of the student funding that you receive.
If you think you might be entitled to benefits or want to know anything more about claiming and entitlement, contact the Advice Service Can we link this to the contact us page? . We can do a full benefits check to ensure you are getting everything you are entitled to.
What is a learning contract?
A Learning Contract is a document drawn up between you and the University which tailors support for your individual needs. Your Learning Contract helps to ensure you're not disadvantaged on your course because of your disability.
The kind of things a Learning Contract covers are reasonable adjustments to your course to enable you to fully participate, for example you may be given extra time to hand in work or sit exams. Your Learning Contract will also outline any additional support you may need in lectures and on placements according to your needs.
The contract is shared with relevant staff to enable them to ensure that the documented reasonable adjustments are put in place.
The contract can be revised and adjusted throughout your studies according to your needs.
What is Fitness to Study?
The University recently introduced a Fitness to Study policy. The policy outlines the University’s approach in circumstances where the health or wellbeing of a student deteriorates to the point where it raises questions about that student's suitability to continue their studies. The University aims to offer support to the student to ensure that all available avenues have been explored to enable the student to continue their studies.
If you have been informed that you are being reviewed under the Fitness to Study policy, or you have been invited to a panel hearing, it is advisable to seek independent and impartial advice from the Advice Service as soon as possible.
We can support you and ensure that the University has followed and interpreted its own procedures correctly. We can look at other ways of providing support and explore any underlying issues which you may have.
You can read the full Fitness to Study regulation on the University website.
In brief, the University regulations state:
The procedure will be invoked where there are on-going and/or significant concerns that you are not fit to study at the present time. This can be either because of how you are behaving or through your inability to make satisfactory academic progress where it is believed this failure is linked to physical or mental health issues.
In terms of conduct this can manifest itself through behaviour that contravenes the Code of Conduct for students and would normally result in action under the Student Disciplinary Procedure were it not for the belief that the behaviour is linked to physical or mental health issues and/or behaviour that whilst not contravening the Code of Conduct, suggests that there is a serious and immediate risk that you could harm yourself or others.
There are several stages to the procedure. The first is a Support to Study policy, an investigative stage where a concern has been raised with your faculty Student Services Manager (SSM) about whether you are fit to study. The faculty should look at what existing support mechanisms are in place for you and determine if any support mechanisms, such as those outlined in your Learning Contract, are being adhered to and are effective or could they be updated and amended?
If, following this stage, the issues have not been resolved or cannot be resolved then the University may implement the full Fitness to Study procedure outlined in the link above.