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Snap Civil Money Penalties Lawyers

Owning a store that accepts SNAP benefits from those in need of financial assistance keeping their families healthy is a major responsibility. The USDA is in charge of this program and the monitoring of it to ensure people are doing what needs doing and appropriately using their benefits, and they are tough on those who abuse the system. If you are a business owner who accepts SNAP benefits, using it correctly is the only way you get to keep your benefits. If you violate the terms or are found guilty of SNAP benefits trafficking or fraud, you lose your ability to accept this method of payment.

When this occurs, your business suffers. Millions of residents in the US utilize this program, which means you could lose a lot of your business if you are disqualified from the program. If the USDA’s investigative team has reason to believe you are involved in a SNAP scam, they will send you a SNAP charging letter. This letter outlines the evidence, what you’ve done wrong, and how the USDA plans to handle this situation.

You have so many days to file a response, and you must do so or risk the penalties. This could be a suspension of your SNAP eligibility or a total disqualification. If you are disqualified and decide you want to sell your business because it’s no longer profitable enough for you to continue running, you’ll find that there are some civil penalties that follow. If you are threatened with suspension, you do have an option to pay a fine rather than go through with the suspension.

What is a SNAP civil penalty?

SNAP civil money penalties are a big deal. You don’t have to face the suspension of your SNAP benefits, however. If you are sent a charging letter, you might find the USDA has provided you with the option to pay the civil money penalties or take the suspension if you are found guilty. The penalty is never the same as someone else’s penalty, but it’s not going to cost you more than $59,000. Even if you decide to sell the business because you are disqualified from the program for good, you might still find this fine is imposed upon you following the sale of your business.

To avoid a SNAP civil penalty, your store must meet several requirements. There are certain stipulations in place that help you stay safe in this situation by covering you and the rules, and they are as follows.

– Your store must have a written SNAP compliance policy whether it’s posted on a wall or in the employee handbook you provide to all new hires
– Your store must have the compliance policy in place prior to being charged with any SNAP penalties
– Your store must have a training program for all new hires that’s in writing and in effect at hire
– You nor the managers or the employees of your store may benefit from the use of any SNAP acceptance or violation

If your store is able to prove all of these are valid and in place, the suspension is not something you’re stuck with. You can choose to pay the SNAP civil money penalty and continue without interruption of your acceptance benefits.

Before you make any decision regarding SNAP civil money penalties, you must call an attorney who is experienced in the area of SNAP law. This is not something you want to try and handle on your own. The laws are strict and numerous, and that means it’s easy to violate them if you are not careful. You want an attorney to help you when you are sent a charging letter so you don’t further incriminate yourself or your business. You must be aware of what you should say, how you should respond, and what you should do to ensure your benefits are not revoked, suspended, or permanently disqualified.

An attorney is here to help you with this civil money penalty by negotiating the cost, discussing the options, and helping you prove there was no wrongdoing on your part. It’s not always easy to have charges of this nature dropped, but an attorney can increase your chances of seeing that happen.

by Leonard on Spodek Law Group
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