NSFAS Disability Support Requirements

By Klenam JU •  Updated: 03/05/24 •  4 min read

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) offers financial support to South African students from mainly disadvantaged backgrounds with bursaries to cover study-related expenses. 

This category includes students from poor economic backgrounds and students living with disabilities. The latter receive support through the NSFAS Disability Support Fund

. However, access to this support is typically contingent on the satisfaction of the criteria stipulated by the scheme.

NSFAS Disability Support Requirements

As a student living with disabilities, you are eligible to receive funding from the NSFAS through the NSFAS Disability Support Fund. 

This support provides funding that covers tuition, registration fees, and allowances for living, transport, personal needs, and study materials. Beyond these, funding accessible through the support fund also caters for three additional needs such as the following:

Medical assessments: This support provides a single assessment throughout the duration of studies.

Assistive devices:  Under this subhead, you receive support that guarantees access to a single assistive device throughout the duration of your studies.

Human support: Support provided under this subhead funds your ability to hire human support like a caregiver, sign language interpreter, tutor etc.

Students with disabilities generally qualify based on financial needs and academic merit. However, the support fund has the following requirements:

Can you be approved for NSFAS disability support without requirements?

Eligibility for the NSFAS disability support fund is determined by the full satisfaction of eligibility requirements stipulated by the scheme. 

That stated, in other words, your application for the support fund will be rejected without the requirements. Thus, you must ensure that you have everything required before applying. However, it is useful to note that the scheme may waive the family income clause under certain circumstances. 

According to the NSFAS, a student whose family income exceeds the benchmark will be considered only upon recommendation from the Disability Unit and/or the Financial Aid Office.

What additional forms are needed to apply for NSFAS Disability Support Fund?

The NSFAS only considers applications that have Disability Annexure forms attached. 

The Disability Annexure A form is a disability assessment questionnaire where you describe your disability and provide comprehensive information on it along with your biodata.

How much is the NSFAS disability allowance?

Once your application has been approved, the National Financial Aid Scheme provides funds that cover a number of things. NSFAS’ disability allowance is typically structured to cover the following:

Furthermore, private residences attract different rates. Importantly, this allowance offers extended coverage for caregivers. However, this support only applies to students who live in housing units provided and administered by their institutions.

Human support allowance is capped at 50,000 South Africa Rand annually. For medical assistance, one can get up to a one-time payment of 2000 South Africa Rand.

Certain allowances may be periodically reviewed upwardly to compensate for inflationary pressures. Such developments are usually indicated in yearly circulars from the NSFAS.

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