Polish mum in benefits wrangle
A POLISH single mum who struggles to support her only child says she has been made to feel like a "second rate person" after being denied benefits.
A POLISH single mum who struggles to support her only child says she has been made to feel like a “second rate person” after being denied benefits.
Aneta Jones says she is “trapped in a vicious circle” of not being allowed to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance because of her nationality status.
The 28-year-old is determined to find work but says it is an uphill struggle because of anti-Eastern European sentiment following the The Day the Immigrants Left programme by Evan Davis.
She now plans to start her own cushion-making business but warns: “If I lose the small benefits I have, I’m going to be homeless by the law.”
Mrs Jones arrived in the UK in 2007 and settled in Peterborough after she got married and gave birth to a child.
She worked full-time at supermarkets and never claimed from the welfare system.
But she had to give up work to look after her child when she and her husband moved to March to benefit from cheaper living costs.
Later they separated, leaving Mrs Jones alone in a small flat holding the baby.
At the moment she gets just £300 a month in tax credits and feels the welfare system lets her down because she says the Job Centre won’t help her to find employment.
Money is so tight Mrs Jones cannot even afford to replace her glasses, which were broken by her 15 month old son Karl.
She said: “For me it’s just ridiculous sitting at home. People think Poles are here to be spongers but I have been living and working.
“I feel like I haven’t got any rights.”
Mrs Jones has applied for dozens of jobs since becoming single in March but said: “People are turning me down because of my circumstances.
“If it isn’t because I’m Polish, it’s because I’m a working mum.”
A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said Polish nationals are entitled to Job Seeker’s Allowance provided they have worked for a continuous 12 month period.
Mrs Jones’ application is being processed at the moment, he said.