UNIVERSAL Credit claimants rose again last month, according to new figures revealed yesterday.

According to a report from the Department for Work and Pensions, 26,195 claimed benefits in March, an increase of 186 on the previous month.

Post-pandemic figures show just over 15,000 claimed, but figures rose month-on-month when the town’s 27,095 peak was hit last March.

Barnsley’s number is the lowest in South Yorkshire when compared to Sheffield’s 47,204, Doncaster’s 33,868 and Rotherham’s 26,499.

Welfare minister David Rutley MP said: “Universal Credit continues to provide a vital safety net to millions.

“We know the best route towards prosperity is through work, which is why so much of the benefit is designed around helping people into employment.

“This includes individual tailored support from work coaches and our new Way to Work scheme, whilst working claimants continue to benefit from an extra £1,000 per year on average in their pockets thanks to recent changes we made so people keep more of what they earn.

“We know this is a difficult time for many workers and families - we’re doing everything we can to help.”