USDA SNAP Training Guide for Retailers

Retailers face many challenges when it comes to owning and operating stores in the modern world. One of the most important is working with the kind of payment systems that customers use to pay for things. Payment can take many forms. A common form of payment is a federal and state program known as SNAP. This program has been designed by the government to ensure everyone in the United States has enough to eat. The program takes the form of a card known as the EBT or Electronic Benefits Transfer card. Under this system, the percent receives a certain amount of money every single month. The money given to each person depends on the specifics such as how many people there are in each family as well as where the person lives. Retailers are entrusted on their end to ensure that the payments made by the EBT card are accepted as intended by national and state officials.

Accepting Payments

All retailers who choose to enter this program are bound by law. Laws state that the retailer must agree to accept payments and abide by laws in the process. Each retailer must know what laws exist when it comes to the use of this program in their store. Every single retailer must operate under the specific laws that were set down when the program was put into place. They also need to stay on top of laws that may change as the program obligations and requirements continue to change. Part of this process means that the retailer needs to provide training for all of their employees. Employees who work for the retailer are also bound by the laws that govern SNAP usage. All employees need to know how the card operates. They also need to know how to respond if the cardholder disputes any regulations that have been set in place.

Training for employees needs to begin before they set foot on the job. Training should include all aspects of SNAP management. This means knowing what products can be purchased with the cards. It also means knowing what products are not allowed to be used by the cardholder. The list of excluded items may be quite extensive. For example, the cashier or anyone else involved in the use of such products needs to know that prepared foods may be excluded under certain circumstances and possibly permitted under others. The cashier also needs to know that the items the person purchases with a card cannot be returned for cash. The cardholder is not allowed to ask them to open the till and ask for cash in return. They are at the front lines of the use of SNAP and therefore need to be very careful when it comes to working with it. An employee also needs to know when the recipient is attempting to break the law in some way and how to respond if this should happen when they are on shift at the retailer’s store. You have to tell your employees they cannot sell things like glass bongs, or tequila, or liquor.

Keeping On Top

Retailers must be aware of these regulations before they start work. A retailer who fails to instruct their workers about the proper use of such SNAP issues is a retailer who may be in trouble with the federal and state governments. Participating in SNAP is considered a privilege rather than a right. Retailers are expected to act in accordance with accepted standards and know what is required of them as they operate on a daily basis. In any given year, a retailer’s records may be examined by inspectors who are trying to ensure that the retailer is acting as required by all laws. The inspectors may also choose to speak directly with the company’s employees. They want to make sure that each employee understands what it is required of them when on the job. If there is evidence that the employee is not acting as required by law, the company may be charged by law with violating SNAP procedures. Violating laws governing SNAP payments and use can lead to serious problems for the retailer in the immediate future and going forward. These are just some of the reasons why training employees to use SNAP is so important.

If the retailer is found to be in violation of any kind of breach of SNAP violations, the government can choose to use one of several responses. A government official may issue a temporary ban on acceptance of SNAP payments for a term. This can be quite extensive if there are many forms of violations. Retailers who do not train their workers in the use of SNAP in a clear and obvious way can also be danger of losing their access to this program on a permanent basis. This means they can’t ever be part of this program.

Failure to provide the required training and updated training once the laws change can mean the retailer faces further problem. A retailer may not be eligible to pay a fine if they make a mistake later on and wish to continue to participating in SNAP. The retailer needs to present evidence they did so from the first. A lawyer can help with any issues that might stand in the way. They can help them from the first day they open to the public for business. That will ensure that the organization is living up to the requirements for the use of SNAP cards.