Clive was made redundant three years ago from a job managing a team of social workers, after he had a massive stroke. He thought finding a job would be straightforward but, six months later, still had no work though he had applied for 600 jobs, and used up all his savings. The job centre sanctioned him on grounds that he had not been looking for work ‘diligently enough’. Clive says, “Your money stops immediately. Thereafter, you are in free fall.” He explains that he often waits until midnight to go through supermarket bins around his home. At times, he has also gone begging, explaining it is “not something I’m proud to say, but you have to think in survival terms”. Missing so many meals has caused complications with his diabetes, leading to hospitalization and the doctor signing him off sick. Just as he stabilised his blood sugar level, six months later, he was assessed for Employment and Support Allowance and found fit for work. Clive says, “I’ve been paying into the system for 30-odd years,” he said. “But when I came to sign on, the attitude is ‘you’re scum. You have no rights’. I used to be a social worker, now I’m nothing.”

Source: http://figr.es/s561