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Food Stamp Administrative Disqualification Hearings

March 21, 2024 Uncategorized

Food is crucial for survival. People need to take in a certain number of calories each day. Many people also need to feed their children. Sometimes, however, some people find it really hard to make ends meet. In that case, they may find it very difficult just to get food on the table. Fortunately, there is help from the government. Government officials have made it possible for citizens to get access to the nutritious food they need to stay in good shape. A program known as food stamps is intended to provide food for residents of the United States. In order to get food stamps, people will need to fill out detailed applications and indicate specifics such as their current assets. During the process, government officials may ask all sorts of questions about the person such as the job they hold and they money they earn from salaries and other kinds of income. While this process may flow smoothly, sometimes there can be problem with it. A person who is applying for food stamps in any capacity or has done so in the past may face food stamp administrative disqualification hearings. These hearings can be daunting. This is why many people turn to skilled legal help for assistance.

Help With the Process

People who apply for food stamps have certain rights. If they are denied access to food stamps the first time around, they can appeal. Appealing may mean facing a hearing. Those who have received food stamps in the past may also find they have been cut off suddenly for reasons they may not understand. They, too, may be facing hearings. In all such instances, legal counsel is the right choice. Legal counsel offers the help that people need going into such hearings. The right lawyer can serve as an advocate and help anyone make sense of any laws that may apply in their case. Many penalties may apply. A person may be facing issues that require them to repay any funds they have received in the past when they were given food stamps. They may also be facing issues that are as result of misrepresenting information on an application. All of these problems can impact the applicant directly. The applicant facing such hearings needs to know their rights. They also need to understand what may happen during the hearings and how it may impact their rights going forward. Food stamps are important in many New York City neighborhoods. Many local merchants accept them easily and know a great deal about how the program works. Lawyer help anyone involved in the process of getting food stamps make sure they are compliance with all necessary laws.

The Law

Varied kinds of laws apply to food stamp recipients. These laws apply all over the country including New York City. In New York City, applicants may face specific challenges such as getting to the hearings from other parts of the city such as The Bronx. All five boroughs of the city have specific places where these kinds of hearings are held for their applicants. All boroughs also have specific areas that are dedicated to the needs clients who are receiving food stamps. The lawyer can offer help figuring out who may be judging the applicant as well as any likely outcome as the court case progresses. With their assistance, a daunting process will feel less daunting. With their help, the applicant can make sure that the judge and anyone involved in such hearings is applying all laws that govern their case and doing so fairly. Varied kinds of documents may be placed in front of the applicant such as a waiver that frees the court system from certain obligations to the applicant. The lawyer can speak up in the applicant’s favor and help them determine the ultimate best course of action. Many people who are facing this kind of hearing do so suddenly. They may not have seen prior notices about this issue or realized that there was a problem in the first place. In that case, the lawyer can help them even when a sudden case arises and they need to be in a certain place quickly to answer certain questions.

Food Stamp Administrative Disqualification Hearings

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a form of government assistance designed to help households with low incomes put food on their tables. Often referred to as food stamps, the program today typically uses EBT cards rather than the books of stamps used in previous decades.

While the program provides essential help for many people, failing to comply with the requirements can lead to being disqualified. Those who believe they have not committed any act that merits disqualification can appeal by way of a hearing. This is where support from one of our lawyers at Farar and Lewis LLP will make a difference.

What are the Grounds for Disqualification?

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2024-03-21
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2024-02-24
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Applicants may be rejected in the initial stages of disqualified after receiving food stamps for several reasons. One of the most common has to do with providing incorrect information. For example, the applicant claims to earn a certain amount of income when in fact the annual income is higher. The individual may also claim more minor children in the home than actually live there.

Another possible reason for being disqualified has to do with choosing to omit information. While all the data provided is accurate, key elements are intentionally left out. Perhaps the individual has financial assets that would have a bearing on the amount of benefits eligible under current laws, but does not include them in the application. While the application may be initially approved, those assets are discovered at a later date. That wold mean being disqualified from the program.

People may also be disqualified due to unlawful use of the benefits. Actions such as trading the benefits for non-food items or even food that is not covered under the program, or selling the benefits to a third party as a way to generate cash are examples. Abuse of the program, by an individual or by a retailer who chooses to allow the fraud to take place, is grounds for disqualification.

The Legal Counsel and the Hearing

The Intentional Program Violation (IPV) hearing takes place if there is evidence that a misuse of cash assistance occurred. This is seen as an intentional rather than an accidental abuse of the program. Both food stamp recipients and merchants may be charged wit this type of violation.

At the hearing, a packet is presented by the prosecution. The packet lists the charges, provides the evidence collected in support of those charges, and the names of the examiners who investigated the event. Supporting documentation is also included. If there are previous IPV infractions, details about them will also be presented.

Defendants do not necessarily have to be present at the hearing. It’s possible to secure legal counsel who has a background with these types of cases to present the defense. Depending on the evidence provided, the lawyer may be able to point out that certain types of income or assets are excluded or present applications of expenses that would further support the client’s original claims for eligible income.

Legal counsel that is familiar with and up to date on current federal and state laws affecting SNAP benefits is essential if you have been disqualified. Depending on the specifics of your situation, the disqualification may be reversed and your access to the program could be restored.

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