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USDA SNAP Retailer Reauthorization

Navigating Through the SNAP Reauthorization Process

Currently authorized  SNAP retailers are required to submit a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program SNAP reauthorization every five years. The point of this is to determine your continued eligibility to accept snap payments at your store.  In the absence of a successful re-authorization, you will lose your EBT sales.  Want to continue to accept EBT at your store!  We can help you.

Over the years, the USDA has revised the authorization requirements for the benefits program. Don’t assume that since your store qualified before that it will be eligible again.  In fact, the USDA wants to reduce the number of authorized small business SNAP grocers.  Some of the ways the FNS has attempted to do this include setting more strict inventory requirements and limiting fish and meat vendors.  Frequently, on-site FNS inspectors and field offices show up at  your store to seek out excuses to deny its reauthorization.  The outcome is that the reauthorization process is not as simple as it once was.  These days, to qualify for reauthorization, your store has to meet all the requirements listed in Criterion A or B:

Criterion A

George FernandezGeorge Fernandez
14:16 30 Apr 24
Excellent 10 out of 10, Helped resolve my case. Jeremy explained everything and made everything easy to understand.
21:33 24 Apr 24
If you are looking for a lawyer that listens, is aggressive where needed, and holds his word above all else, Todd is the best pick. I had hired multiple attorneys prior to hiring the Spodek Group for a white collar case. The first thing that stood out to me was the cost, as anyone going through the process and dealing with the system, money was tight at that time - especially after hiring and firing multiple lawyers. The cost was not as high as others which was definitely a plus. Todd's intake process was also unlike other attorneys. He took the time to actually listen. He cared. He was trying to put himself in my shoes while I was explaining the situation to him and he really took the time to understand the whole situation. Other lawyers will give you 15 mins and send you a retainer agreement. Not Todd, I think he spent almost two hours with me as I was explaining everything.Not only was he great during the onboarding process, he was supportive and very informative through the entire plea process and eventually sentencing. After hiring him, I asked if I should hire a prison consultant, he told me to save my money as he would do everything they would. He was right and held up to his word. Later on I would hear from others that went with the prison consultants that they were a waste of money - I am glad I listened to Todd!When it came time for sentencing, two days prior to sentencing, the prosecutor tried increasing my proposed prison time by almost double - apparently a normal move. Todd and his team worked with me non-stop through the weekend prior to sentencing to ensure that I was not given additional prison time. Again, he took the time to listen and came up with a strategy to explain the case with great detail.Unfortunately, I did plead guilty as that was my best option. Todd and his whole team wrote up nearly 300 pages of a summary of what happened and why I should not be given prison time. If I breakdown the amount I spent with Todd versus the amount of work that I saw being done, I am shocked I was not charged four times as much. The other benefit was, a lot of criminal defense lawyers were just a single attorney with a paralegal or two. Todd had a team of people that I dealt with (5-7 people that I interacted with), but he was ALWAYS accessible. It would never take him more than an hour to reply unless he was in court.I was sentenced to prison and I was emotionally distraught. Todd and his team did whatever they could even after sentencing to make sure I was alright. He personally stayed in touch with my family to ensure I was doing alright and offered support to them. Most lawyers would consider the job complete at sentencing, not Todd.After prison, Todd still spent time with me to make sure I was on the right track and avoiding any potential risks in the future. He has also been giving advice on how to navigate probation etc and has not been looking at the clock for billing.Although I wish I had never been arrested in the first place, I am glad I had Todd and his team in my corner. Without them I likely would have had to spend a lot more time in prison than I did.Thank you, Todd, and the entire Spodek Law team, for helping turn what was a nightmare into a manageable situation!
Yelva Saint-PreuxYelva Saint-Preux
19:26 19 Apr 24
I am immensely grateful to the entire team at Spodek Law Group for their unwavering dedication and exceptional expertise throughout my case. From our initial consultation to the final resolution, their professionalism and tireless advocacy made all the difference. Their strategic approach and attention to detail instilled confidence in me every step of the way.Thanks to their hard work and commitment, we achieved a truly favorable outcome that exceeded my expectations. Not only did they navigate the complexities of my case with precision, but they also provided invaluable support and guidance during what was undoubtedly a challenging time. I cannot recommend Spodek Law Group highly enough, especially attorneys Todd Spodek and Claire Banks; they are beacons of excellence in the legal profession.YSP.
Katherine SunKatherine Sun
18:08 18 Apr 24
my lawyer is Alex Zhik. Efficient, patient and professional
Nun yaNun ya
17:48 18 Apr 24
Todd, Ralph and Alex are amazing. Helped my husband get from a double digit number with multiple charges to a single digit, by the time I blink he will be out. They very professional and help with all your needs. They dealt with my anxiety and worry very well and they understand that your family member needs to get home as soon as possible.
Keisha ParrisKeisha Parris
20:45 15 Mar 24
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko BeautyTaïko Beauty
16:26 15 Mar 24
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence.Thank you team!
K MarK Mar
01:37 25 Jan 24
I recently had Spodek Law Group represent me for a legal matter in NYC and I am thoroughly impressed with their services.Alex Zhik secured the best possible outcome for my case.It was a seamless journey from the initial consultation to the resolution of my legal matter. From the moment I spoke to Todd about my case, his enthusiasm to help was evident, setting a positive tone for the entire experience. The efficiency and professionalism displayed by the team is commendable.A particularly noteworthy aspect of their service is their user-friendly portal to upload your documents/evidence. This not only simplified the process, but showcases their commitment to streamline the client experience.Lastly, in an industry where legal fees can often be a concern, I found their pricing to be very reasonable, making needing legal assistance feel accessible and stress-free.I am grateful for their support and wouldn't hesitate to turn to them again in the future.

To qualify, a grocery store must stock at least 7 (seven) varieties of food items in each of the 4 (four) staple food categories.  Among these 7 (seven) varieties must be at least one perishable (fresh, frozen or refrigerated) product.  Every variety must have a minimum depth of stock of 3 stocking units.  The 4 (four) staple food categories include:

  • Vegetables/Fruits,
  • Dairy (which tends  to be the most problematic snap authorization category),
  • Breads/Cereal, and
  • Meat/Poultry/Fish

Criterion B

To meet this criterion, retailers need to have more than 50% of their total gross retail sales in staple foods.  Products that are heated or prepared on-site ( their temperature at the time of sale notwithstanding) are not included in this sales count.  Furthermore, if you sell too much heated food at your store, the USDA will classify your store as a restaurant. Anytime more than 50% of a store’s total gross sales are in prepared foods that are not intended for home preparation and/or consumption, the store is classified as a restaurant.  This does include all the food prepared on-site or sold for carryout.

A Step-by-Step Guide to snap Reauthorization

When that time comes around, you will receive a “re-authorization” letter at your store. There is a code in the letter which is for the USDA’s website. It will tell you how to commence your application.  The USDA does not take paper applications anymore.  Everything is web-based. You have 30 (thirty) days to complete your application.

Once your online application is submitted, the USDA will request additional documentation from you.  What documentation they request is unique for every grocer.  The requested documentation can include: 

  • an affidavit declaring that the current owners/officers/members of the store are not involved with any previously disqualified SNAP persons and reporting any criminal convictions and/or license revocations; 
  • copies of all current business licenses; 
  • the store’s bank details and signature card; 
  • personal and business tax returns.

Sometimes the USDA will follow the first request for paperwork with a request for revenue verification.  The USDA’s program specialist is reviewing to see if you serve too much hot/takeout food to qualify for reauthorization.  Records they may ask you for include invoice records, sales records, tax filings, and bills of sale.  If your records show that most of your food sales are heated, your application will be denied.

If the USDA is satisfied that your sales meet their standards, they then evaluate your inventory.  They primarily accomplish this by an in-store inspection conducted by the USDA.  If the survey reveals that your store‘s inventory does not fit their criteria, you may be given the chance to submit inventory records.  Supplier invoices and receipts from grocery purchases, or other records that show food purchases can assist as evidence to demonstrate that your business ordered and received a sufficient amount of required staple foods within 21 days prior to the store visit.

After the USDA evaluates your revenue and inventory, they issue a decision letter.  If your store is reauthorized then the process ends.  If your store is denied snap reauthorization, you have the right to appeal. Under some circumstances you can re-apply immediately, while others you may have to wait six months or longer.  In severe cases, the Department can try to permanently deny your application.

You Can Opt for a SNAP Retailer License Appeal

The USDA may decide to withdraw your license to participate in snap as an authorized retailer.  They will notify you of this through a package delivered by UPS.  If a letter detailing the withdrawn status of your application(aka: a denial letter) arrives at your doorstep, you should do the following:

  • Determine if the denial or withdrawal is permanent.  If so, you should consider appealing or else you will never be able to get a license.
  • If you figure out that the denial is not permanent, determine if the store can survive throughout the re-application period.  For instance, if your snap sales account for only 3% of your total sales and the delay period is six months or less, you could possibly hold out.  On the other hand, say your snap sales account for 50% of your sales. With such a big chunk of your business in jeopardy, you will probably want to file an administrative review.
  • Put all of your documents together  and call our law office to schedule your free consultation. Our team handles all your paperwork, briefing and communication with the USDA.  We can also advise you as to whether an appeal would likely be successful or not.

You may get denied because, after an on-site store inspection conducted by an FNS agent, it was determined that your store failed to satisfy the stocking requirements listed in Criterion A, or that, after a review of the paperwork you submitted with your application, your business did not satisfy the sales requirements laid out in Criterion B.  Should this occur, you will not be able to reapply for snap authorization for at least six months, which can be damaging to many grocery stores.

Be aware– you have 10 (ten) days from the date you receive the decision letter to file an administrative review request.  Do not panic – if you get in touch with our firm right away at (813) 228-0658 we may be able to help you with your filing.  Our lawyers can represent you in the case, and present the documents and evidence necessary to win.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q – Will my EBT machine be turned off right away when I get the withdrawal letter?

A – You will no longer be authorized to accept snap benefits after the effective date of your store’s withdrawal.  That said, if you choose to file for an administrative review of the withdrawal, you will be allowed to accept SNAP benefits at your store pending the final agency decision.  


Q – How can I have EBT at my store again if I was denied reauthorization permanently?

A – Unless you promptly and correctly file an appeal, you may never be able to get your EBT license back.  In some situations, our office has helped clients regain EBT reauthorization after a denial, but every case is unique.  It’s best that you fill out the intake form below and have a free consultation to learn what is possible.


Q – I don’t have the point of sale machine to accept EBT cards. Can I still get reauthorized? 

A – At the time of this writing, the answer is yes, although that may change soon. The USDA is presently working to push through new regulations that would require your store to have a computerized point-of-sale terminal.  Nonetheless, if you have the ability to accept payment from debit cards, all you’ll need to do is reach out to your merchant services provider.


Get Your Free snap Reauthorization Denial Consult

We offer snap retailers a free consultation on any matters they may have on their hands involving EBT retailer applications.  Because the snap retailer requirements have become so much more difficult, we suggest that grocers retain an attorney to handle their matters.  All too often the USDA has claimed that they have not received sufficient documentation from a proprietor, or that they were unable to process an application. These circumstances are almost never true, but when snap retailers are unrepresented, they fall victim and are forced to apply again.  If you would like to have your free legal consultation, fill out the form below.

Schedule Your Consultation Now