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Fraud Investigations - Will I lose my benefit or tax credit?

Benefit or Tax Credit fraud is an offence which may be committed by making: a) False representation for claiming benefits or tax credits, or b) Dishonest representation for claiming benefits or tax credits Special rules allow for investigation and prosecution where you are suspected of benefit or tax credit fraud.

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.

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