More Money in Your Pocket

From the Household Support Fund we’ve received £4.7 million from the Department of Work and Pensions to support people with their food, energy and other essential household costs.

The current scheme runs from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024.

Apply for a cost of living payment

If you receive a qualifying benefit and have not had the automatic cost of living and/or disability cost of living payment you may be able to apply for this.

Find out more about the Cost of Living Payments 2023 to 2024.

I'm on benefits and have a low-income, do I qualify?

Do you receive one of the below benefits? If you've not received the automatic cost of living payment from the DWP you may be eligible for a payment.

  • Income based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit

Automatic cost of living payments of £301 from the DWP were made before 17 May 2023.

To apply for this payment you must be in receipt of one of these benefits from 26 February 2023. You also must not have already received the £301 from the DWP.

Automatic cost of living payments of £300 from the DWP were made before 19 November 2023.

To apply for this payment you must be in receipt of these benefits from 18 September 2023. You also must not have already received the £300 from the DWP.

Automatic cost of living payments of £299 from the DWP were made before 22 February 2024.

To apply for this payment you must be in receipt of one of these benefits from 13 December 2023.

Do I qualify for disability cost of living payments?

Do you receive one of the below benefits? If you've not received the automatic disability cost of living payment from the DWP you may be eligible for a payment.

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance for adults
  • Disability Living Allowance for children
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Adult Disability Payment (in Scotland)
  • Child Disability Payment (in Scotland)
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • War Pension Mobility Supplement

Automatic disability cost of living payments of £150 from the DWP were made before 4 July 2023.

To qualify for this payment you must be in receipt of one of these benefits since 2 April 2023. You must not have already received the £150 from the DWP.

Apply for a cost of living payment

The government has announced that the Household Support Fund, which was due to end on 31 March 2024, will be extended for a further six months.

We haven't had any more details about how the money should be spent. When we find out more we'll update this page.

Energy costs

Working age households who receive Council Tax Support will receive a £40 voucher to help with the cost of energy. You don't need to apply for this voucher.

The vouchers are being sent out from 18 December 2023. There may be a delay with vouchers due to Christmas post. All vouchers should be received by 14 January.

Food, energy and household essentials

A cost of living payment will be made to those who receive Housing Benefit but do not qualify for the government cost of living payment. If you're eligible, you’ll receive a £299 voucher that can be cashed at the Post Office. You don’t need to apply for this voucher.

The vouchers are being sent from 27 February 2024.

Free school meal holiday vouchers

We'll be providing £15 to families who receive means-tested free school meals. This is to help with buying food during the February school holidays.

You'll get a letter with a barcode which you need to take to the post office with a form of ID to receive the £15 payment.

Letters are now being issued to those who are eligible.

Community support

These services are there for residents across the borough who need some extra support.

Please check each service for who can apply and how to do this.

Borough wide support available to all

Community First Credit Union

Interest free loans up to a maximum of £500. These loans are for those who are struggling to buy food, pay energy bills or buy essential items.

Who can apply

To apply you need to:

  • be a Community First account holder, or be willing to become one
  • be 18 years of age or over
  • have an established electronic payment into your Community First savings account. This could be a standing order or deduction from your wage. You also qualify if your wages or benefit payments are paid directly into the account.

How to apply

Call Community First on 03030 300010.

Barnsley Borough City of Sanctuary 

Barnsley Borough City of Sanctuary work with asylum seekers and refugees. Those seeking sanctuary usually have a need for:

  • food and clothing
  • help with travel costs for things such as English classes and visits to Home Office interviews

Those that have achieved sanctuary are less in number, but have more diverse needs. This includes food, clothing and bedding.

Who can apply

Asylum seekers and refugees who are seeking or have achieved sanctuary in Barnsley.

How to apply

Email or call 07939 787192.

Educational Learning Support Hub (ELSH)

The ELSH look to bring people together through English. They deliver their entry level English course free to many people, including local vulnerable young people. They work with asylum seekers and refugee children to overcome the barriers of language as they settle into the area.

Who can apply

  • Refugees, asylum seekers and those who have settled in Barnsley from around the world.
  • You must be a student with ELSH.

How to apply

Email or call (01226) 643249.

Age UK Barnsley

A warm homes check involves a home visit with a specialist advisor. They'll assess your home and give you advice and ways to improve its energy efficiency.

During the visit they can supply and fit free items such as:

  • insulation
  • draught excluders
  • radiator foils
  • energy saving light bulbs

We'll do everything we can to support older people in Barnsley through the winter. If you're worried about the cost of living, get in touch with Age UK Barnsley on (01226) 776820.


DIAL home energy advisors can come to your home to give you a free energy assessment. This could help you save money on your energy costs. Contact Sue or Dave on (01226) 240273 or email

DIAL have also launched a new Stronger Together Hub - a borough-wide peer led support group around the cost of living. It runs on Tuesdays from 11am to 1pm at the Stronger Together Hub, DIAL Office, McLintocks, Summer Lane, S70 2NZ. Refreshments of tea, coffee and sandwiches are available.

You can turn up on the day or let DIAL know you'll be coming by contacting Hannah at

Berneslai Homes – Tenants First

Berneslai Homes know the cost of living crisis is a challenge for all of their tenants, especially:

  • people on low income
  • families with children
  • older people
  • people with a disability.

If you’re a Berneslai Homes tenant experiencing severe financial hardship, help is available.

You may be struggling to make ends meet, and finding it hard to pay for essentials such as your rent or utilities.

Berneslai Homes are able to offer support with:

  • your gas and electricity bills - with pre-payment vouchers
  • food and toiletries
  • your rent

Find out more about cost of living support for Berneslai Homes tenants.

Family hubs

Family hubs deliver early help services for children from pre-birth up to 19 years. If the young person has a disability they offer support up to 25 years.

Family hubs bring people together from a range of services in each local area. This includes those from:

  • schools
  • the police
  • social care
  • the private and voluntary sector
  • some adult services

The services they offer vary in each area of the borough. This depends on the needs of families and the wider community.

For full details of the services on offer in your area, visit the family hubs webpage.

Support in Dearne areas

The Uniform Fairies 

Pre-loved uniforms for children and young people in the Dearne.

Who can apply

You must be a family who is struggling with the cost of buying a uniform for your child.

How to apply

All giveaways are advertised on the Uniform Fairy Facebook page.

Families are welcome to chat to volunteers and specific orders can be made if a pre-loved uniform isn’t available first.

Support in North areas

Ad-Astra - Athersley

Weekly food parcels which include dry and long-life items.

Who can apply

You can apply if you:

  • live in the St Helens ward
  • have a low household income
  • are in receipt of benefits, for example:
    • Universal Credit
    • Income Support
    • Pension Credit
    • Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
    • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • are a working single person, or a single person on a low income under £12,000 (after tax)
  • are an unemployed unpaid carer on welfare benefits
  • are a pensioner in receipt of Pension Credit

How to apply

Call 07462 805640 or email

Romero Communities

Romero Communities is the only place in Barnsley where anyone can go for help from Monday to Wednesday mornings. You can be sure of a warm welcome and a friendly worker to listen and give you guidance.

Romero Communities deals with issues such as:

  • benefits
  • housing
  • debt
  • relationship problems
  • health issues
  • safeguarding children and vulnerable adults
  • problems associated with isolation and social exclusion

Support and guidance is available at Roundhouse Lifelong Learning Centre. The drop-in is open Monday to Wednesday from 9.30am to 12.30pm.

For an appointment please phone (01226) 770390 or 07716 415648.

Support in South and Penistone areas

Penistone Asylum Seekers and Refugee Support 

The group works with local service providers to help asylum seekers and refugees living in Barnsley. They support vulnerable households who are struggling with the cost of living.

Who can apply 

Support is targeted at female asylum seekers who aren't able to take paid employment whilst their application to remain in the UK is pending. They also help those who aren't in receipt of the extra government funds available to UK citizens to help with the cost of living.

How to apply 

You should attend the weekly meeting of the Refugee, Migrant and Asylum Seeker Women’s Group:

  • Venue: Hope House Community Cafe, 2 Blucher Street, Barnsley, S70 1AP
  • Day and time: every Wednesday from 10am to 12pm

For more details call Christina on 07917 135843.

Support in North East areas

Grimethorpe Activity Zone 

Free food and a warm place to go with hot drinks.

Who can apply

People or families who live in Grimethorpe.

How to apply

Email or call (01226) 713599. You can also visit the Grimethorpe Activity Zone at The Acorn Centre, 51 High Street, Grimethorpe, S72 7BB.

Royston Friends Association 

A welcome space open to anyone in the area who is struggling. Advice sessions are available, including coffee mornings, craft and wellbeing sessions.

Who can apply

Anyone suffering financial difficulties or social isolation.

How to apply

Call Sue on 07944 479824 or email