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If you’re a retailer who accepts EBT at your retail store, then may have received a official notice from the USDA. This notice is probably a SNAP violation letter, which is alleging you violated the SNAP program. The USDA will attach a number of pages to the SNAP violation notice, and it will contain records of transactions that occurred at your grocery store that the USDA is saying is in violation of one or more groups of violations.
After you get a SNAP violation notice, you should speak to our our legal team. Remember, you have only ten days to respond to the letter. If you don’t respond, the government will terminate/suspend your grocery store’s ability to take EBT.
About The SNAP Program
This program helps families with money each month. These benefits are distributed to consumers with an EBT card. The benefits on the card aren’t for general usage, and they can’t be used for cash back services. The EBT cards took over for food stamps in the 1990’s and the card is issued by each state individually which the SNAP participant lives. This program is run on a national level by the government.
The SNAP program and it’s benefits are governed by the US Code and the Code of Federal Regulations. The USDA FNS agency enforces the regulations and runs the program.
What’s a SNAP Violation
Snap violations occur when a store violates any of the rules below.
The store is accused oftrafficking SNAP benefits. Examples of this is fraudulently accepting the benefits, or theft of the benefits.
Your retail store took SNAP funds in exchange for nonfood items like alcohol, tobacco, or other goods.
Your store submitted false info on the store’s application to accept EBT benefits.
The grocery store took money for more EBT food stamps than food sales at the same time.
The employees of the store accepted SNAP benefits from someone who isn’t allowed to use them.
How to defend your store against a SNAP violation
Spodek Law Group has experience handling SNAP violations letters. We can handle your SNAP violation process in all phases of a SNAP Violation action.
Sending the letter is the first step taken by the USDA to remove your EBT license. The letter can come with, or without, prior warnings and can appear at any time. The charging letter contain details about alleged violations, but most of them will detail serious allegations, and have attached documents detailing the violations. Your response to the SNAP violation letter is due within 10 days. After you hire Spodek Law Group, our lawyers take into their hands all of the communicationswith the USDA and for compiling all the necessary evidence, and drafting a response to the USDA.
Once the USDA reviews your answer to the notice of violation, the USDA might still feel that a violation has occurred. If that happens, they’ll will issue a second letter which specifically states their decision to suspend or disqualify the retail store based on the alleged violations. You have 10 days to appeal this. If you don’t, then you’ll be stuck with the USDA decision. After you hire our lawyers, our team the appeal and notify them appeal the decision. Our lawyers collect necessary evidence, and we will draft generate the necessary appeals briefs containing all of the case law, evidence, etc. which is critical to change the outcome of the violations.
In the event the USDA refuses to overturn the decision, in the Administrative Review, we will file a Judicial review at the local Federal District Court. This process is like a normal federal court case, where you’ll be able to do discovery, file motions, and have a trial. Our attorneys can handle these cases in all 50 states.
As a grocery store retailer, there’s a lot of rules and regulations have to obey in order to accept EBT. In most normal situations, many retail store owners have no issues adhering to them. However, USDA’s SNAP program can be tricky. SNAP handles the Electronic Benefits Transfer Card, and has limitations. For example, SNAP recipients cant get electronic goods. If, and when, you violate the laws, you’ll get a SNAP violation letter. Snap violation penalties can include fines and penalties. If you conduct a major violation, then you might end up with a temporary or permanent disqualification. In most cases, owners of grocery stores don’t know SNAP violations are even happening. In many situations, unethical employees who are misusing the SNAP EBT program. It’s helpful to discuss your case with a SNAP violation attorney in order to make sure you don’t have your benefits revoked.
When a charge letter is delivered to your grocery store, you have only ten days to respond to the claims by the USDA. Failure to respond to the allegations will permanently crush your store. In addition, the USDA will make a verdict even though you choose not to respond to the allegations. Without legal experience, you cannot defend your store. Hiring a SNAP violation lawyer gives you a fighting change. Our SNAP appeals lawyers can discredit the findings of the USDA and appeal any decision. The fines imposed can expensive – to the tune of ten’s of thousands of dollars. The USDA on purpose does large fines to curb violations. The USDA will look to see if you have a store compliance policy in place. The policy has to be in writing at the store and the policy must be at the time the violations were filed.
The retailer must be able to prove the compliance policy was in place before the charge, and wasn’t drafted after the violation was made. The USDA will also look in order to check if the retail store owners benefited from the violations, or were aware of the violation. If the management was involved it can lead to disqualification.
We highly recommend any owner that gets a allegation letter speak to with a SNAP violation attorney. Failure can result in negative consequences. The USDA is required by Congress to issue a disqualification for a period of up to 5 years. This can result in huge losses which are hard to recover from.
An awesome firm that truly cares about you. I thought I could handle the USDA on my own, but failed. Todd intervened and helped fix my mistakes.- Denton, CLIENT Denton