Food Stamps Denials and Appeals in Virginia
A Virginia food stamp denial can occur, as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is unable to accept every application submitted. There are many reasons for being denied food stamps, the most common of which is not meeting one or more of the qualification requirements. However, if you have had your food stamps application denied and felt your application should have been accepted, then there are steps you can take to appeal the decision.
Reasons for Being Denied Food Stamps in Virginia
Food assistance denials can occur during the application process as well as while collecting benefits. If you had your food stamps application denied, then it may be because you did not meet the initial SNAP eligibility requirements or there was an error in your request. Virginia petitioners must meet the citizenship, income and resources criteria to receive SNAP benefits. Denial of a food assistance application can also occur if you left sections black or failed to provide documents confirming furnished information. In addition, if you miss your SNAP interview, whether it is a phone interview or an in-person interview, and you do not reschedule and attend a new one by a certain date, then your application will be denied.
If the state denied food stamps you were currently receiving, then you may have lost eligibility. Food assistance denials can be the result of a change in income or household composition, which may make you no longer eligible to collect benefits. Beneficiaries who reported false information or used benefits fraudulently would also have food stamps denied. Committing SNAP fraud can mean lying about your household’s income, assets or employment status. Selling your SNAP benefits is also considered fraud. This can result in either the temporary or permanent suspension of your benefits.
Download our comprehensive guide for details on initial and ongoing SNAP eligibility to obtain and keep food stamps benefits.
How to Appeal SNAP Benefits Denial Decisions in Virginia
When appealing food stamp denial decisions, send a written request in the form of SNAP’s Request for Appeal document to the Department of Social Services in Richmond, Virginia. You will need to file your Request for Appeal form to begin the food stamps appeal process before the deadline, which is a specific number of days after your food stamps application is denied. You can either begin the food stamps appeal process on your own, or you can hire a lawyer to do it on your behalf. However, the expense to hire a legal representative will be your responsibility regardless of the outcome of the appeal.
During your food stamps appeal process, you will need to select SNAP Benefits as the program you want to appeal, as the Request for Appeal form can be used to appeal more than one of the Department of Social Service’s programs. Send the food stamps appeal form to the Hearing and Legal Services Manager at the Virginia Department of Social Services so an appeal officer can review it. Once your local agency determines that the case is valid, it will send you a hearing letter and assign you a hearing officer. You then move on to the hearing stage, which will either be done in person or over the phone. If you have a preference, then you must let your local agency know so the proper arrangements can be made in time.
As part of the food stamps appeal process, you are required to attend your hearing. Doing so in person is your best option, but accommodations can be made if you are unable to make it your local agency for the hearing. Appealing food stamp denial means you will examine all documents and records relevant to the hearing. You will also have the chance to bring forth witnesses and make your argument. Looking over the case file before the hearing is set to begin will allow you to prepare everything you need in advance.
Find out which documents establish food assistance eligibility and can help your appeal be successful by reviewing the comprehensive information in our free guide.
How do you reopen a food stamp case in Virginia?
Applicants who had their food stamps application denied may apply to have the case reopened if it was closed for any reason. To reopen a food stamps case, it must meet certain qualifications set by SNAP. You must request reinstatement during your current certification month. This is a month during which your case was originally active.
When can I apply for food stamps after being denied in Virginia?
If your food stamps application was denied, then you can still reapply to receive food stamps. As there is no time limit on when you can resubmit your application, you may do so anytime after receiving your rejection letter. You may also reapply as many times as you wish. However, if your situation has not changed since your first food stamps denial, your application will continue to be denied.