DOZENS more people claimed disability benefits in Barrow in July than a year earlier, as the number doubled across England and Wales.

The personal independent payment is awarded to people with long-term physical or mental conditions, in order to help them continue with everyday tasks.

Analysis of Department and Work and Pensions figures, from the Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank, shows the number of new claimants in Barrow rose from 18 in July 2021 to 56 in July 2022.

Across England and Wales, the number of new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claimants doubled over this period, from 14,800 to 32,200.

More recent figures show 4,409 were entitled to PIP in Barrow as of July – putting them among 2.7 million people entitled to the benefit across England and Wales.

The IFS said that worsening health was likely behind the rise and that there had been an increase across every age group, and for most major conditions.

Nationally, around a third of new claims were for mental or behavioural conditions, with the proportion rising to 70% among those aged under 25.