FNS Reauthorization - Failure to Cooperate
Need help navigating the SNAP reauthorization process after involuntary withdrawal?
As a business owner, keeping up with SNAP reauthorization can be difficult. While the reauthorization process generally includes at least two letters from FNS and an automated call reminder before withdrawal, it is often the case that the letters or phone call are not received by the merchant. This can result in involuntary withdrawal from the program.
The below resources will help you navigate the SNAP reauthorization process so you can get back to accepting EBT sales at your store.
Navigating the SNAP Reauthorization Process
If you are an authorized retailer, you are required to submit a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) reauthorization approximately every five years. Without a successful reauthorization, you will lose your ability to accept EBT sales. Although navigating the reauthorization process can be daunting, we’re here to help.
Here is what you need to do to start the reauthorization process:
1. Your store will receive a reauthorization letter from FNS.
The letter contains a unique identification number to use in your reauthorization application. You will have only 30 days to complete it.
If you did not receive or are unable to find your reauthorization letter with your unique Reauthorization Customer Number and password, it is possible that you will need to wait for the expiration of your FNS authorization and apply again. However, you should call the SNAP Retailer Service Center at 877.823.4369 as soon as possible to confirm your next steps.
2. Visit the FNS website to fill out your reauthorization application.
After receiving your unique identification number, visit the FNS website to fill out your application. You will need to update any or all of the information on your initial application form.
3. Submit additional documentation.
After you submit your online application, the USDA will ask you to submit additional documentation. The documentation requested can change from store to store. Requested documentation may include:
- an affidavit stating that the current owners/officers/members of your store are not involved with any previously disqualified SNAP persons and reporting any criminal convictions and/or license revocations
- a copy of all of your store’s current business licenses
- your store’s bank information and signature card
- federal, personal and business tax returns
- invoice records or sales records
4. Be prepared for a USDA site visit.
USDA may require a site visit as part of the reauthorization process. Site visits are not normally scheduled in advance. Upon their arrival, the site visit contractors should identify themselves to the store manager and obtain the manager’s consent for the visit. The manager can contact the SNAP Retailer Service Center at 877.823.4369 if there are any questions or concerns about the site visit.
5. If your store inventory does not meet current SNAP requirements, submit inventory records.
If the inspection shows that your store’s inventory does not meet current SNAP requirements, you may be given the opportunity to submit inventory records. You can provide supplier invoices and receipts from grocery purchases, or other records that show food purchases. The goal is to show that your store ordered/received a sufficient amount of required staple foods within 21 days prior to the store visit.
6. After USDA evaluates your revenue and inventory, they will issue a decision letter.
If your store is reauthorized, the process ends. If your store is denied SNAP reauthorization, you have the right to appeal. Under some circumstances you can re-apply immediately, while under others you may have to wait six months or longer.
FNS has up to 45 days from the date a completed application is received to make a decision. If your business has changed locations, owners, closed or has not been reauthorized within the last five years, call the SNAP Retailer Service Center at 877.823.4369.
Not sure if you meet the SNAP stocking requirements? Check out our resource about how convenience stores can meet SNAP requirements.