Work and benefits

The complexity of work and benefits can be a perplexing experience. Not being able to prove one's identity because you've lost all your documents through becoming homeless; not having a fixed address; immigration status and even being told that you are contravening health and safety regulations because you don't have a fixed address - these obstacles block people from either getting benefits or working. Some interviewees acknowledge that they are not ready for work. For others, work was a way to maintain self esteem, even if, at the end of the day, their home was a park bench.

"The job centre people said until the Home Office confirms that I'm entitled to the benefits, because they were looking at the letters from the court and that's what they were going by, I had no status so they said until the Home Office confirms that you're still entitled to work and benefits, we can't give you anything. So for five months I was without any money, any job, anything." Esther, 43

Some interviews contain strong language.

1. Work experiences 19.4 Jason, 39

2. Welfare benefit issues 35.2 Esther, 43

3. Army/Cadets experiences 4.2 Paul, 65