Funding pathways

There are many ways to fund Brain in Hand. Please have a look at the options below. Whilst we cannot apply for funding on your behalf we are happy to advise you.

What is DSA? Over 6000 university students across the UK are using Brain in Hand through the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA). It is available from the student finance bodies in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland to help students who find university life particularly difficult.

Who is it for? DSA is support to cover the study-related costs you have because of a mental health problem, long term illness or any other disability. DSA will fund students on undergraduate or postgraduate, full or part-time, courses. The support you will receive depends on your individual need - you do not need to pay DSA back. Find out more here. 

Click here to check eligibility, see what else it could fund, and find out how to apply. Or, if you are studying on a healthcare, medical, dental or social work courses, find out more about NHS Bursaries and Learning Support Funds by clicking here.

How to apply? The first step is to arrange an appointment with a DSA needs assessor, who’ll help you to work out what support you need at university. They’ll make a recommendation to your funding body about what you should be given, and then you’ll get a letter confirming what you’re entitled to. Once you’ve got that letter, we’ll just need you to send us a copy. Apply for DSA here.

Access to work (AtW) - Who is it for? AtW is for people with a disability, or a physical or mental health condition that makes it hard for them to do parts of their job. You must be 16 or over, employed (not voluntary work), self-employed, or starting an apprenticeship, work trial or work experience.

The support you will receive depends on your individual need and may include services or technology - you do not need to pay an AtW grant back, but you or your employer may need to contribute. If your job is in England, Scotland or Wales find out more here. For Northern Ireland find out here.

Discover your ultimate guide to Access to Work >

Your employer could fund - Some employers may privately purchase Brain in Hand for their staff as part of their support/ reasonable workplace adjustments. Some government departments do this.

If this is something your workplace provides or could provide, we are happy to support you with the right information to give to them. Click here to find out more about how Brain in Hand supports people in the workplace here.

EHCP - (educational health and care plan) - Special Educational Needs plans and EHCPs are for children and young people aged up to 25 years. These plans identify education, health and social needs and set out additional support to meet those needs – which may include a budget for services or technology.

Contact your local authority for information, or find out more here.

Children social care assessment (care needs assessment) - This entails a range of services from local authority children’s social care teams. All disabled children are eligible for an assessment from their council to determine whether they need social care support.

How to apply? You can get more information by clicking here. Alternatively, you can search your local authority (council) website and see what services they offer.

Adult social care assessment - All people with support needs are eligible for a social care assessment from the local authority. This assessment identifies if they are eligible for support. 

Personal independence payments - Who is it for? PIP (formerly Disabled Living Allowance) can help people aged 16 or over with some of the extra costs of a long term physical or mental health condition or disability. If you receive PIP you may decide to spend some of your payments on funding services or technology. Find out more and apply here. For Northern Ireland find out more here.

If you are not eligible for a national funding scheme, you may still be able to ask for support from your school, college, employer or any Local Authority, Social Care, NHS or Mental Health services that you are being supported by. There may also be charities local to you that offer grants or support to find funding. You may be able to get support identifying local charities from Citizen’s Advice or Disability Grants.

Alternatively, you can find out more about paying for Brain in Hand yourself here.

Free virtual webinar: Unlocking Access to Work

The ultimate guide for employees and employers. Demystifying Access to Work funding with real, personal experiences from experts and applicants.

Watch on demand

Ready to take the next step?

If you are unsure what funding applies to you or have any questions, you can email support@braininhand.co.uk or click on the button below.

If you know your funding and want to register with Brain in Hand, click on the register button below.

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