Funding for students with Learning Difficulties and Disabilities
All 16+ students
Support with day-to-day living
You have the right to ask your local social services department for an assessment of your daily living needs. This can include any personal care or help you need.
Going to college may mean that the support you are used to at home will no longer be available. However, social services should provide you with the support you need.
Learning and your rights
It is unlawful for schools and other education providers to discriminate against disabled pupils, students and adult learners. Find out how the Equality Act 2010 has increased protection for disabled learners against unfair treatment.This guidance cannot cover all individual circumstances. You should get more details from relevant organisations.
What disability and other benefits can I get while in the 6th form, at a further education college, or at University
If you are over 16 and have a disability you may be able to get financial help towards the costs of specialist support while in the 6th form or at college. Disabilities covered include long-term illnesses, mental-health conditions or specific learning difficulties, such as dyslexia.
- Disability Living Allowance
This could provide financial help if you need personal care or have walking difficulties because of a disability.
- Employment and Support Allowance
If you have a disability and you're on a low income, you may also be able to claim income-related Employment and Support Allowance while you're studying.
- Income Support
If you have a disability and you're on a low income, you may also be able to claim Income Support while you're studying.
- Other possible benefits while you're studying
You may be able to claim other benefits if you're a disabled student on a low income, such as Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit.
- Welsh Government Learning Grant (Further Education) is for students aged 19 or over living in Wales who are studying a course of further education at college. It is to help cover course-related costs, such as travel, books and equipment. If you’re eligible, you could get up to £1,500 a year.
- You may be eligible for free or subsidised transport costs to school or college.
- Your parents or carer may continue to receive Child Benefit for you until your 19th birthday.
For sixth form college only
- Further Education Colleges in Wales have a Financial Contingency Fund that helps students in serious financial difficulties. Only students who have explored all other ways to support themselves may be helped. Support from the fund does not have to be repaid. Enquiries should be made directly to the college’s Student Support or Welfare Services department.
- Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is for young people aged 16-18 living in Wales who want to continue their education after school leaving age. If you’re eligible, you could get £30 a week, paid every two weeks.
For university only
- Student Loans will help you with tuition fees and living costs. Depending on how much you earn, you will start to repay your student loan in the April after you graduate or leave your course.
- You can get a Tuition Fee Loan to cover all or the first part of the tuition fees your university will charge you.
- If the fee being charged is not covered by the Tuition Fee Loan you can also get a Tuition Fee Grant. It will cover any difference between the maximum loan and the fee you are charged.
- The Maintenance Loan is to help you with your living costs. The amount of available to you depends on where you will be living during term time and whether you will be studying in London.
- Depending on how much you earn, you will start to repay your student loan in the April after you graduate or leave your course.
- Disabled Students' Allowances
Disabled Students' Allowances are grants to help with the extra costs a student may face because of a disability. If you qualify, they’re paid on top of any standard student finance you get. The allowances don't have to be paid back.
- Childcare Grant and Parents’ Learning Allowance to help with childcare costs if you have dependent children. They don’t need to be paid back.
- Adult Dependant’s Grant offers extra money if you have an adult who is financially dependent on you. It does not have to be paid back.
- Every university in Wales has a Financial Contingency Fund that helps students in serious financial difficulties. Only students who have explored all other ways to support themselves may be helped. Support from the fund does not have to be repaid. The university’s Student Support or Welfare Services departments have more information.
- Bursaries, Scholarships and other awards. Universities and charitable trusts offer extra financial help. Browse the following websites for more information
Your local public library should also have directories of charitable trusts that offer grants and awards:
- the Educational Grants Directory
- the Charities Digest
- the Grants Register
- the Directory of Grant Making Trusts