The penalties for retailers are serious. If the store’s business model relies on EBT, then a temporary or permanent disqualification from participation in the SNAP program can have a detrimental effect on the store’s business. Many stores have gone out of business after their SNAP disqualification.


Summary of Penalties for Retailers

  • Trafficking – Buying or selling SNAP benefits for cash or other items will result in permanent disqualification, forfeiture of property, and/or a penalty of up to $100,000 for each violation.
  • Sale of Guns – Sale of guns or controlled substances for SNAP benefits will result in permanent disqualification or a penalty of up to $100,000 for each violation.
  • Sale of Cigarettes / Alcohol – Sale of cigarettes, tobacco, or alcohol for SNAP benefits may result in a 3- to 5-year disqualification period or CMP. A civil money claim may also be assessed for the value of the ineligible items.
  • Sale of Ineligible Items – The sale of ineligible nonfood items  for SNAP benefits may result in a 6-month to 3-year disqualification, or civil money penalty.
  • SNAP Benefit Redemption Higher Food Sales – A store whose SNAP benefit redemption for a specified period of time exceed its food sales for the same period of time may be disqualified for 3 to 5 years.