Permanent SNAP Disqualification Reversal
One of the largest public programs in the country is the SNAP program, and multitudes of families nationwide depend on it to survive. This program gives families with low incomes help so they can eat. It is by no means glamorous, but it’s extremely practical. In the absense of proper nutrition, human lives are altered forever. When the head of a family is unable to make ends meet from month to month and frequently comes up short on money to feed their families, the United States Department of Agriculture offers them the opportunity to apply for SNAP benefits to shop at local grocery stores for the additional food supplies their family needs.
The legislation regarding SNAP benefits is extremely rigid. The individual edicts are far too many to list, but they are indeed very strict and ignoring any of them puts business owners at risk of severe consequences. What can and cannot be sold to people using SNAP benefits, how much people receive monthly, and what recipients can and cannot buy using their EBT cards is all regulated by the federal government . They ensure that the owners of supermarkets and grocery stores are equipped with copious information about the use of SNAP benefits, and they are obligated by law to strictly adhere to every term.
Selling SNAP benefits for cash is expressly forbidden by law, and recipients are not permitted to purchase alcohol as well as a number of other items using their EBT cards. Anyone who is caught selling unauthorized products exchanging SNAP benefits for cash, the proprietor faces a long list of fines, penalties, and even possibly the loss of their license to accept SNAP benefits.
What effect does losing SNAP benefits have on a business?
Maybe the idea of losing the ability to accept SNAP benefits as a payment method sounds like a minor setback, but it’s enough to destroy a grocery business. When people are able to use their SNAP benefits in your store, your revenue escalates. Millions of people living in America are unable to afford the amount of food they need each month and they need and access federal assistance putting food on the table. Holders of EBT cards restrict their shopping places capable of accepting their benefits.
If your store is no longer able to accept SNAP cards, you will lose business. Indeed it can be a large volume of business, and your shop sales will likely suffer a huge blow as a result. Losing SNAP acceptance is never beneficial to a grocer, which is why it is important to understand the ways in which an attorney can be of service to you if your business was permanently disqualified from accepting SNAP benefits.
The SNAP Charge Letter
In the event that the USDA suspects you or your employees of performing any illegal involving SNAP benefits at your store, you will receive a letter. It can be an infraction as minimal as allowing someone to purchase a single beer with their SNAP card. Something like this might not even be something you realized took place when a new staff member was working or at times when there was so much on the conveyor belt it simply slipped past you unnoticed.
Accidents happen all the time, and none of us is perfect. Nonetheless, your business might suffer from any mishaps, even unintentional ones. If you are found guilty of any improper conduct connected with your SNAP, you’ll receive a letter. In some cases, this letter provides you a chance to pay a fine rather than lose your ability to accept SNAP. This may be a substantial amount, but it is probably much less than your losses from saying goodbye to all your repeat SNAP customers.
If you don’t have the money to pay the fine or you fail to respond to the letter and it’s demand for a fine payment inside 10 (ten) days, your store loses its license to accept SNAP payments. Under some circumstances, the suspension is temporary, but other times, it’s a permanent disqualification. This depends on how many occurrences have happened before and how severe the issue at hand is in comparison to the law.
Grocery store proprietors do have the opportunity to respond to claims if they did something wrong, but interestingly, the USDA doesn’t always favor the stores in the disputes they receive. They sometimes rely too heavily on the evidence against the business no matter how vague or outdated it is. They may even ignore or misplace your letter. Any number of issues can arise with a dispute, and a retailer could find out their SNAP machine ceases to function one day when they are checking customers out.
Disputing a Permanent Disqualification
It’s far from simple to dispute a claim, even when the evidence against your business is faulty. It’s arduous, it’s time-consuming, and the legislation surrounding SNAP benefits is convoluted and nearly impossible to comprehend. The best practice is to hire an attorney to handle things for you. An attorney with much experience dealing with SNAP issues can help you dispute a permanent disqualification. You can indeed get the permanency removed and your SNAP acceptance reinstated.
Even wiser is to hire an experienced attorney from the outset. Upon receiving a SNAP charge letter in the mail, contact an attorney. They have the most effective tools, the knowledge, and the legal expertise to assist you in making certain that the paperwork you receive is accurate, that the response is handled properly and thoroughly, and that you never reach the stage where you are permanently disqualified. Even with the possibility of winning a reversal with the right evidence and proper paperwork, the weeks you spend being unable to accept payment from such a large number of your regular customers can ruin a small business.
No grocer who has SNAP acceptance can afford to lose it. It’s too much a part of their business model, and it’s how a great many of their customers shop. A SNAP recipient who suddenly realize that they can no longer shop at your store will simply find a new store. Usually, they don’t check back every few days to see if your store is back up and running and able to accept benefits again, either. They will become accustomed to shopping where they’ve moved and you will not be able to get back that business even when your benefits are reinstated.
The USDA cracks down hard on business owners whom they believe are misusing or misappropriating SNAP funds in their stores. Ignoring a letter of this nature or even attempting to handle it on your own is very unwise. Reach out to an experienced attorney to help you reverse the decision to permanently disqualify you from taking SNAP payments in your store. It can mean the survival of your business.