FNS Reauthorization FAQs| goEBT - EBT, Credit/Debit Processor

FNS Reauthorization FAQs

How often do I need to reauthorize my SNAP license?

If you are an authorized retailer, you are required to submit a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) reauthorization approximately every five years.

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.

What is the FNS 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.
  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 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, but some situations may require you to wait six months or longer.

How long will it take to become authorized?

FNS has up to 45 days from the date a completed application is received to make a decision.

How is a merchant tagged as high risk?

A merchant may be tagged as high risk following an on-site store inspection. If it was determined that your store failed to satisfy the stocking requirements in Criterion A or the sales requirements in Criterion B, you might be tagged as high risk.  If this occurs, you will be unable to reapply for SNAP authorization for a minimum of six months, which can be harmful to many businesses.

  • Criterion A
    • A store must have 3 stocking units of 3 different varieties for each staple food category on a continuous basis. For 2 staple food categories, there must be at least 1 perishable variety. Most stores are authorized under Criterion A.
FNS Reauthorization Criterion | goEBT - EBT, Credit/Debit Processor

Image Source: www.fns.usda.gov

  • Criterion B
    • A store must have more than 50% of its total gross retail sales from the sale of staple foods. Specialty stores, like butcher shops, are often authorized under Criterion B.
FNS Reauthorization Criterion | goEBT - EBT, Credit/Debit Processor

Image Source: www.fns.usda.gov

What should I do if my SNAP reauthorization is denied?

If the USDA decides to withdraw your license to participate in SNAP as an authorized retailer, they will notify you through a package delivered by UPS. If you received a letter on the withdrawn status of your application or a denial letter, you should take the following steps:

Is the denial or withdrawal permanent?

  • If it is, you should submit an appeal.
  • If the denial is not permanent, determine if your store can survive for the reapplication period.  If SNAP sales account for the majority of your sales, you should file an administrative review.  You must file an administrative review request within 10 days from the date you receive the decision letter.

Can I reapply without the customer number and password from FNS?

If you did not receive or are unable to find your reauthorization letter with your unique Reauthorization Customer Number and password, it is possible 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.