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Consequences of SNAP Disqualification
Many Americans struggle to meet their family’s weekly food bills. Hunger has long been an issue in the United States despite the nation having some of the finest farmland in the world. Congressional officials are aware of this fact. That is why they have created a program that is designed to address this need. The rise of what is known SNAP has deep roots in American history. SNAP allows Americans access to payments they can use on their own. These are payments they can bring to any grocery store. The retailer who participates in the program must agree to accept these payments.
Many retailers choose to be part of this program. They often find they need to do so because SNAP payments form a major part of the funds available for food purchases in the area they serve. In doing so, they are also expected to abide by the program’s terms. That means that retailers must understand how the program works. Each retailer needs to pay close attention to the workings of the program in order to understand how it works in a real life setting.
A store owner may be disqualified from participating in this program in many varied ways. For example, if the owner has been found to accept large cash sums in return for food stamps in great quantities, this is evidence of what is known as food stamp trafficking. Food stamp trafficking is a very serious offense. Recipients are not allowed to accept cash of any kind in return for their food stamps. A store owner must be aware of such regulations. They also need to make sure that all of their employees are well versed in such regulations and prepared to follow them to the letter. If the store owner or store employees violate these laws, they can be held liable for such violations.
Disqualification From the Program
Violation penalties for SNAP misuse can take varied forms. If, for example, the retailer’s employees agree to allow even a single person to buy a single item that is not allowed under the program, the retailer can face temporary disqualification from the program. A retailer may be unable to accept payments for a few weeks. More serious violations such as selling a large cache of firearms to a series of clients can result in a longer period of disqualification. This can lead to the retailer unable to accept food stamps for as long as five years.
In some instances, federal government officials may decide the store owner has many serious violations over time. In that instance, the violator may find they are no longer able to accept food stamps in any form at all forever. This kind of disqualification creates all sorts of serious issues for any store owner and their employees.
The disqualification will put any store owner at a major disadvantage. When store owners are not allowed to accept food stamps, that means that many of their clients will need to shop in another store. The loss of access to the program can mean the loss of thousands of dollars in business annually. Loss of access to SNAP payments also typically leads to the loss of their ability to participate in other, similar government programs. For example, they may be thrown out of the WIC program. WIC, or Women, Infants and Children is a program that many nursing mothers choose to use in order to feed their babies and young children. The program is widely used in many impoverished parts of the country.
A grocery store owner may also find their reputation has suffered under the loss of access to the SNAP program. For example, this may impact their credit rating. A lower credit rating means an increase in interest rates charged on the money they borrow from creditors. That can impede their ability to buy items, update their store and expand into new markets. It can also make it harder to buy a home or car.
In addition to these consequences, should the store owner choose to sell their grocery store to another party, the other party will need to pay what is known as a CMP or civil money penalty. This is a fine that can be up to $59,000. That fine can make it harder for the grocery store owner to sell their their business at a profit. It can make it harder to sell the store at all.
Given the severe consequences of a SNAP disqualification for any business owner in the modern world, it is crucial to fight these charges as soon as possible. A lawyer with experience in this area is an important ally. They will help you fight these very serious charges and make sure you are not left out.
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