A FORMER Amazon worker resorted to squatting on trains after breaking his foot and becoming homeless.
Mihai Calinescu, 29, suffered the injury in March this year but was told he was ineligible to claim benefits.
And Mihai, originally from Romania, was forced to leave his rented house in Birmingham after he left his job.
He then spent days living on trains and station platforms around the West Midlands while actively seeking work.
Mihai told Birmingham Live: “I went from train to train in the day, starting in Birmingham and going all over the region.
“I had a safe place to get some sleep and to keep warm. I would go all over the rail network jumping from train to train.
“At the end of the day, I would get off the train and sleep on a platform until the early trains started up again.
“I did this for three days.”
Mihai added that when he broke his foot he was not entitled to sick pay so he left his job hoping he would be able to get benefits until he was fit for work again.
DESPERATE FOR WORK
He arrived in the UK in 2015 and had three jobs, including working for Amazon in Rugeley, Staffordshire.
Mihai is now sleeping on a friend’s sofa in Birmingham but he fears he’ll have to return to Romania if he can’t find a new job soon.
He said that he had to have a plaster cast on for two months and could barely make it to the bathroom without help during that time.
And he says he’s paid taxes ever since he arrived in the UK but now feels let down, adding that he believes no one should be forced into a situation where they have to live on trains.
A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “Anyone applying for a contributory benefit will need to have paid national insurance to be eligible.”
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Mihai is ineligible because he has not been in continuous work for the the last four years.
The spokesperson added: “As his right to reside in the UK is based on the status as a jobseeker, he isn’t eligible for other out of work benefits, however we have directed him to local support organisations.
“These rules have been in place since before the EU Referendum and there has been no change to access to benefits since there.”