Will I lose my benefit or tax credit?
You may lose your benefit or tax credit if:
you are convicted of an offence, or
you agree to pay a penalty as an alternative to prosecution, or
you accept a formal caution instead of being prosecuted.
This is known as a benefit sanction. Your sanctionable benefit is either not paid or paid at a reduced rate during the sanction period.
The sanction period is four weeks if you pay a penalty as an alternative to prosecution, but may be increased to 13 or 26 weeks for repeated offences or to three years in cases of serious fraud.