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Consequences of SNAP Disqualification

The SNAP program is intended to assist people in feeding themselves and their dependents. Many people rely on this program to supplement their food bill. Others rely on it as a form of payment for the goods they offer at their grocery stores. It’s a good idea to understand how the program works. It’s important to know that someone may be facing disqualification from this program for many reasons. Disqualification from SNAP benefits may happen as a result of specific behaviors such as exchanging food stamps for cash and letting people forbidden categories of products with food stamps. In a significant number of instances, such disqualifications may happen by accident. If that happens, it imperative to have help from skilled attorneys who understand all aspects of the SNAP system. There are many consequences to SNAP disqualification if the person is given such a designation. These problems may cause all kinds of problems for both retailers and to specific individuals. Therefore, it is important to understand the kind of actions that may lead to this problem. It is also important to understand that the system is designed to allow people the change to redeem themselves and still use food stamps even if there have been several violations of the rules over time.

An Intentional Program Violation

An intentional program violation is a violation that happens when there is a deliberate decision to engage in food stamp fraud. This kind of fraud typically means that the person has violated the rules of the program in some way and did so multiple times. For example, they may have chosen to file more than one application with the organization to collect benefits. Someone who is getting food stamps under more than one name is considered to have caused a highly serious offense. As a result, they may be banned from the program for a decade. Less serious offenses such as a single instance of fraud may result in the recipient being banned from the program for a single year. Each potential case is heavily investigated by the governing authorities. An investigator provides a written report that the person has the right to see and examine. A lawyer can help defend the person against such accusations.

Retail Stores

Another situation that may happen as a result of SNAP disqualification is when the owner or manager of a business violated the rules of the program. Officials may have been found providing recipients with cash in turn for the benefits. They may also have received food stamps they knew were stolen from the recipient or from organized crime. Retail store owners may suffer all kinds of penalties as a result of such actions. Even if the store owner did not do such actions deliberately, they may be still held liable for the actions of their employees. This is why any store owner needs to make it firmly clear what rules apply to food stamp use. They also need to check periodically to make sure that such rules are in place. Food stamp administrators may have found evidence of fraud over time. The store may be banned from accepting food stamps as a source of payment. In addition, store owners and managers may be liable for the amount of the food stamps. They may be assessed fiscal penalties as well as interest on the stamps. While this falls under civil law, the fines can be heavy and may make eat into the company’s profits. Companies that are unable to accept food stamps may also find themselves at a significant disadvantage in the local food markets.

Legal Help

The consequences of being disqualified from the SNAP program are many. Individuals may find it hard to feed themselves and other family members. Stores may not be able to serve the needs of their clients and accept payment. A New York City grocery store that does not accept food stamps will lose business to other competitors. This is why many people and companies turn to legal assistance. Legal help can provide the potential grounds to have such charges dismissed. A good lawyer knows how to work with the system to help their clients avoid the very real consequences of SNAP disqualification.

by Leonard on Spodek Law Group
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