The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or (SNAP) is a program that is designed to ensure no one goes hungry. This program is about providing help for needy families who might otherwise find it hard to feel their families. There are certain criteria that need to be met in order to receive this form of assistance. It is the largest of the programs that are administered by the federal government. Those who are eligible can apply an application process that takes many factors into account including the legal right to be here as well as the amount of money earned by all parties in the household. Once a family has qualified for this benefit, they are given an electronic card. This card is pre-loaded with a certain amount of money. The funds given via the card can be used to purchase certain items that are set out by the government in advance.
Using the EBT or Electronic Benefits Transfer card means adhering to certain procedures. Families must obey these rules. The same is true where the cards are accepted to purchase items. All those who work in a retail space where snap is accepted need to be aware of the kind of rules that will apply to their use. Such rules govern how much is on the card at any given time, what items can be bought by the card holder and what items are specifically excluded. If the card holder violates these rules, the retailer can be held responsible. A store owner or manager can be held liable as well as the employee even if the employee did not know such issues were in play. The governing body that regulates SNAP use is in charge of determining these rules. They are also in charge of determining how they can be used and what might constitute a violation of the laws.
What Can Be Done
The EBT card means that the card cannot be used for any other purpose other than the purchase of food. The same is true of the use of cash. A card holder is not allowed to redeem the card for cash. If there is a suspected violation of any kind by a store that accepts these cards, the Code of Federal Regulations has specific procedures that are to be directly followed. Officials at the Food & Nutrition Service regularly conduct examinations of the use of such cards. They also take the time to see if any organization is misusing such funds. An individual can make a report if they suspect their employer or another organization is engaging in fraud. If this happens, there are a series of steps that will be followed. It’s important for all those who are accused of this action to understand what is going on and how to respond to it.
Officials at the Food & Nutrition Service will send off what is known as a snap violation letter. This letter indicates that the retailer has been found to be engaging in known food stamp fraud. A letter of this kind can be scary. Many retailers, particularly those in lower income areas, may serve many clients who use an EBT card. If they are faced with the loss of this business, they are faced with the prospect of loosing a considerable portion of their client base. All those who are in recipient of this letter should know they will have only ten days to respond to it. It’s also important to keep in mind that many retailers who get this kind of letter have not knowingly violated the rules governing snap use.
Filing an Appeal
It is totally possible to dispute any allegations of organized snap fraud. Those who are found guilty of this type of fraud may be denied their right to accept snap for a certain period. They might not be able to accept this form of payment for a few months or even an entire year. That can make it very hard for them to accept a certain percentage of their business. Repeatedly violations of the law may lead to the person being barred from the program entirely. They can also face fines that can eat into profits. Under these circumstances, it is imperative to know what rights the company has in the event they get such a letter. A fine can reach several thousand dollars or even more. If the company is not allowed to accept snap at all, they might face the temporary loss of business. If this continues, the retailer may find they can’t sustain the business model. They might have to lay off their employees or even find they have to close the business completely. All retailers should also be aware that if they are found guilty of these problems, they might even face potential jail time or even a prison sentence.
A good attorney at your side is a must. A SNAP administrative appeals lawyer can help the client make sure they know exactly what they are facing when it comes to such an issue. They can also help with specifics such as mounting a defense against such allegations. If the retailer is facing charges that they have done this other times in the past, the lawyer can help craft a detailed defense that takes all factors into account. A good legal defense is a complete necessity when facing SNAP related problems.