When a SNAP Retailer receives an adverse decision, the Retailer can request an Administrative Review of the Action.

Standard of Review on Appeal

Generally, in an administrative proceeding, the USDA has the responsibility of establishing a sufficient factual record to prove or disprove the allegations on appeal.  The Appellant has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the administrative action should be reversed. The Appellant must provide relevant evidence, when reviewed as a whole is sufficient to support a conclusion that the matter asserted is more likely to be true than not true.

The USDA does not have to prove actual trafficking to charge a Retailer with trafficking

The standard of review for these cases is that there must be sufficient information through a preponderance of the evidence that it is more likely true than not true that the questionable transactions were the result of trafficking. This standard is very “liberal” and makes it very difficult for the Retailer since the USDA can just use circumstantial evidence of trafficking as long as the trafficking allegations is more likely than not to be true.

Once you get your disqualification you have ten days from the date of receipt of the letter to submit your “Request for Review”. The USDA sends out all official notices and correspondence by a method of mail which provides proof of delivery. The tracking number is usually listed on the correspondence, therefore they can track what date the letter or notice was delivered.

The request for review must be sent to:

Chief, Administrative Review Branch, USDA, FNS, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 418, Alexandria, VA 22302. 

It is a good idea to send a request for review by mail with a tracking number. This way, you can have concrete proof that you submitted your request for review in a timely manner.