SNAP Defense of a Grocery Store Lawyers
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is referred to commonly as SNAP. It’s a program issued by the United States government to those who struggle with their finances and are unable to provide healthy and basic nutrients to their families. Anyone who receives SNAP benefits is permitted to spend so much money every month on their health and nutrition, and stores that accept these benefits are only permitted to sell specific items to people using their SNAP benefits. It’s the basics, the healthy items people need to care for their families, and other essentials. It’s not for fun items, alcohol, or cigarettes.
When a store is permitted to accept SNAP benefits, it increases the business in that store due to the sheer number of people who are issued these government benefits each month. When a store accepts SNAP, the store is required to follow strict laws and rules regarding the acceptance and proper use of these benefits. When a store is suspected of violating the rules, they are sent a SNAP charging letter from the USDA outlining what they suspect is going on in the business and how they plan on taking action against your business. If your grocery store receives a SNAP charging letter, you must hire a SNAP defense attorney right away.
SNAP Defense of a Grocery Store
The USDA is very aggressive when it comes to SNAP violations. This is the government’s money, and they want to be sure it’s being used correctly. If your store receives a charging letter, it must be handled appropriately and right away. There is no time to let it sit and forget about it. If you do not respond, you could lose your ability to accept SNAP benefits due to suspension or permanent revocation of your license. This is a big business loss for anyone who accepts these benefits.
When you don’t hire an attorney, you could incriminate yourself even if you feel you’re not doing that. The USDA can use anything you say and do against you, even if you make one comment to them about being unaware there was fraudulent activity in your place of business. You might not be aware of it, but you should always deny that anything is wrong. The best way to handle this situation is to hire an attorney to draft a professional response that doesn’t incriminate your business at all.
Your attorney is going to work with you to disprove what the USDA believes is true of your business. Sometimes it’s difficult to handle this if the evidence they have against your grocery store was found when an undercover investigator went into the business and was allowed to use their SNAP benefits fraudulently. It’s frustrating when the problem is something you did on your application. You might have knowingly made false claims so you were issued a license to accept SNAP benefits, or you were given an application to fill out and didn’t understand what it was asking. If you provided false information by mistake, you still face consequences.
Hiring an attorney to help you with your case is the best thing you can do. There are very few things you can do to help your case when you don’t have an attorney on your side. Once you are in need of defense, it’s up to your attorney to file the proper paperwork to ask for an appeal at the administrative level or even the judicial level. You need these benefits to see success at work, and that means you must not take these allegations lightly.
You are given rights, timeframes, and specific instructions when your business is accused of wrongdoing regarding SNAP acceptance. If you receive a charging letter in the mail, don’t panic. Call an attorney and get this handled right away. Do not call the USDA on your own, and do not speak to anyone about your letter until you’ve spoken with an attorney regarding the entire situation. Saying one wrong thing can cause your busienss to lose its ability to accept these benefits, and that’s why an attorney is the person who should do all the talking.
May 17, 2018
Spodek Law is a great firm. They are super pragmatic