I struggle to live off just £40.85 a week as an asylum seeker in the UK

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I truly have no idea when I’ll have a decision on my asylum case – the system doesn’t give estimates on how long it will take.

I am safe now I am in the UK, but am I really living? Surviving on £40.85 a week isn’t a life.

Let me work, let me study, but until then, let me live.

*The name of the author has been changed.

Immigration Nation

It’s a long walk to the supermarket for me.

I’d get the bus, but it would cost nearly £5 there and back. I simply can’t afford that – especially because the cost of food is rising, too.

I have to budget everything down to the last penny because I am seeking asylum in the UK and while I wait for a decision on my case, I’m not allowed to work. 

That means I have to live off just £40.85 per week in benefits. This has to cover my food, travel, toiletries, clothes and phone data so I can call my family and attend online classes to improve my English and IT skills.

So I just have to suffer with shoulder and back pain from carrying my shopping on the long walk home.

This is the stark reality for asylum seekers like me right now.

I arrived in the UK from India in 2016.

When I first came to Yorkshire, it was a traumatic time for me and my mental health was not good.

I didn’t feel safe outside because there was too much going on and I wasn’t used to that compared to where I came from, so I isolated myself and didn’t go out.

For the first two years, all I did was attend my weekly meetings with the Home Office and go to the library. That was my whole life.

Eventually, my doctor gave me a social prescription and I joined the local City of Sanctuary refugee support group. Little by little, I made some friends. That changed everything.

I started exploring the city and I even commenced my English GCSE, which was so fantastic. It felt like I was restarting my life and that possibilities were opening up.

I am safe now I am in the UK, …read more

Source:: Metro News

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