What Your Store Needs to Accept Food Stamps

To accept SNAP benefits (Food Stamps) at your business or store location, you have to meet eligibility criteria set by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The main thing you have to look out for is to make sure your store is selling the kind of food that is approved under the program. It is important that you follow this rule because committing EBT Card fraud can land you in jail for a long time. Here is what you need to sell at your store to be eligible to accept SNAP Cards:

"What Your Store Needs to Accept Food Stamps"

"how to accept food stamps"

As you can see, they are very specific about the criteria and you should make sure you are in one of the two categories before you apply. To apply to accept food stamps at your store location, you have to follow a 3 step process, which we have outline in detail in our post. Click on the link to the post in the top menu above under “Accept Food Stamps”.

You should know that food stamps fraud is growing and the government is going after retailers that help people commit SNAP card fraud. So, if you are approved for the program, make sure your employees are all properly trained to handle sales from the program, because any illegal activities undertaken by your employees all fall on you. You do not want to end up like the store owner in the video above who got arrested for helping people commit fraud with their food assistance card that were given to them to help them buy nutritious food.

How to Accept Food Stamps at my Store

If you are a store or business owner and would like to accept food stamps (SNAP Benefits) at your location, you will first have to apply with the USDA for approval. In this post, we will give you the step-by-step process to get you approved to accept EBT Cards. Here’s how:

"how to accept food stamps at your store"

How to Accept Food Stamps at my Store

Step 1

The first step in the process is to set up a USDA eAuthentication account. You will need an email address to do that. If you do not have an email address, you can sign up for one here with Gmail or Yahoo Mail. Once you have an email address, click here to sign up for the eAuthentication account. You will receive a confirmation email with a link, which you must click on to activate your account. After you complete this process, you are ready to move to step #2. If you do not have an internet access, you can also complete this process via phone by calling the USDA at via their toll free number at 1-877-823-4369.

 Step 2

The second step in the process is to fill out an online application. Remember, you need to have completed Step #1 above to be able to apply. Click here to go to the application page. Once there, click on “sign in” and log into your account. You can start and stop the application process. You have up to 30 days to complete and submit the online application to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). To complete the application, you are going to need the following information, so be ready to supply them:

  • Store owner’s name,
  • Store owner’s home address,
  • Store owner’s social security number,
  • Estimated store sales.

Once you submit the application, you can return to the same website to check the status of your application. All you need to do is sign into your account. It takes the USDA up to 45 days to process an application once it’s complete. As part of the application review process, what you submitted will be reviewed to make sure it is complete. Once that is determined, they will conducts a background check for past SNAP history, and evaluates your store for eligibility.  They may visit your store to confirm eligibility.  

Remember, that for your store to be eligible to accept EBT cards, you must meet the eligibility criteria below:

"Food stamps store eligibility criteria"

Step 3

You may be requested to send supporting documentation to confirm information you provided on your application. Mail them to SNAP Retailer Service Center, USDA Food and Nutrition Service, PO Box 14500, Washington DC 20044. Please Note: UPS and FedEx will not deliver to a PO Box Address. 

If you have questions about the application process or are stuck in the process and are not sure what to do, you can contact the USDA’s SNAP Retailer Service Center at 1-877-823-4369 and a representative will assist you with your question. 

If you are approved

If you are approved for the program, make sure you take the training seriously. Food stamp abuse and fraud can land you in jail, so make sure you only allow people to buy foods approved on the SNAP list. Also, the actions of your employees regarding the SNAP program are your responsibility, so make sure you train them very well on how to deal with food stamp purchases.

Click here to begin the application now to get your store approved to accept food stamps.