10 Day Notice from USDA SNAP EBT
SNAP helps ensure that food benefits go to the right people and that government resources are used properly. Laws have been enacted to make sure that SNAP benefits go to the right people. Retail stores who are authorized to use SNAP benefits are under specific laws. It’s uncommon for stores to get into legal troubles because of food SNAP benefits, but it happens every now and then. When it occurs in the USA, the owner of the store gets a 10 day notice. During this period, the store owner is given a written notice explaining the violation and what it means for them.
If you don’t respond to the violation in 10 days, you lose your EBT license permanently, or temporarily. You also might have to pay a civil fine. All the penalties will ruin your revenue, especially if SNAP benefits are a huge portion of your revenue. The length of the disqualification depends a lot on the evidence against you and the number of instances of fraud. If you’ve violated the SNAP laws more than twice in the past – you’ll be disqualified for a longer period of time. Temporary disqualifications usually last from 6 months to 5 years.
For civil fines, the exact amount will depend on the $$$ you transacted used SNAP cards. The type and number of charges made against you will determine the amount of the overall fine. You typically cannot be charged more than $59,000 for violating snap rules.
In some serious cases, you might experience criminal charges. This is rare, and only occurs in situations where the money transacted is a large amount. Often, store owners are unaware of violations due to the fact their employees hid it from them. This might be due to poor training of employees, or intentional illegal activities. In order to reduce your chances of getting disqualified – it’s important you train your employees and make sure they understand the importance of SNAP benefits. You need to document this training as well. That way if you get fined, you can still remain in business. The compliance policy has to be in effect before the filing of the charges against your store. In order to prove this, you must have dated logs which show the training occurred. It should also contain details on when, and how, employees were trained to accept EBT cards.
The law doesn’t consider who did the fraud. The law only considers the fact it happened, and you’re the owner. You will be held responsible either way and will lose your license. The chances of being suspended from SNAP will be reduced if neither you nor the management of the store directly benefited from the violations.
If you get a 10 day notice from the USDA SNAP EBT, it’s important you speak to an attorney immediately. There’s plenty of reasons why the FDA might send this. For example, they might think you’re engaged in trafficking. For example, some retailers knowingly sell goods to people using fraudulently acquired EBT cards. The use of stolen cards is considered trafficking. Store owners are not allowed to sell unqualified products using EBT cards. Only specific foods, and non-alcoholic drinks can be purchased using EBT. If you use EBT to sell hot foods that are supposed to be consumed in the store – it’s considered illegal. Items like alcohol, cigarettes, medication, and non-human foods are never meant to be purchased using EBT.