SNAP Administrative Appeals LAwyers
The ability to accept SNAP benefits in your store is one many people rely upon for the success of their businesses. Millions of people use government assistance to purchase food and other necessary items throughout the month to get by, and the stores that carry these items and accept SNAP benefits receive more patronage than those that don’t. The ability to accept these benefits is big for business, and losing your SNAP benefits is devastating to your business.
When a store is accused of violating SNAP laws as issued by the USDA, they are sent a SNAP charging letter in the mail. This letter outlines all that you’re accused of doing wrong, how you can fix this issue, and what you must do to appeal this. It’s rarely a simple process, but there are many things you can do when SNAP administrative appeal becomes necessary as outlined below.
The First Step: Responding to SNAP Charging Letters
When a SNAP charging letter appears in the mail, it’s shocking. You’re being accused of wrongdoing in your place of business, and you might not even be aware it’s going on. In some instances, it’s not going on. The USDA is not perfect, and their administrative team does make mistakes. When this occurs, it’s imperative you handle the situation accordingly. The USDA won’t admit to wrongdoing if you admit there is even a chance someone was making mistakes in your business.
Do not under any circumstances reply to the charging letter you receive without first speaking to an attorney regarding this situation. An attorney is the only person who is capable of correctly responding to this letter without saying anything wrong or further incriminating your business. Even the statement that you’ll look into the problem to see if someone in your employ is not doing their job correctly is an admission of guilt in the eyes of the USDA.
The Second Step: Appeals Process
Now that you and your attorney have responded to the charging letter, the USDA might decide it’s time to issue a chance for an administrative appeal. It’s always best to have someone with extensive law experience handle this for you. Deciding to forgo an attorney this late in the game could result in the loss of your ability to accept SNAP benefits. You are free to appeal the decision made by the USDA any time following the response to your SNAP charging letter response.
Your attorney has to file the correct paperwork with the court, schedule a hearing, and provide the evidence necessary to enforce an appeal when the USDA presents its case. Losing your SNAP benefits could close your business if you’re not careful. During the appeal process, you must allow your attorney to present all the facts and the evidence to support a lack of wrongdoing in your place of business.
It’s imperative you do not place blame on an employee and issue termination for that person. It’s still wrongdoing, and no one at the USDA cares who did the wrong thing. If they believe it happened in your place of business, they will shut down your benefits and put a serious strain on your business. Your job is to ensure your SNAP benefits are being used correctly, adequately, and that you’re able to prove this is the case no matter what happens.
Your attorney knows how to protect you in a case like this, and he or she knows how to handle the appeal process when it gets that far. The hope is that your attorney can shut down any accusations of wrongdoing from the start, but it is possible you’ll need to go through the administrative appeal process in advance. Let your attorney help you through this process so there is no question regarding your innocence in the matter.
May 17, 2018
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