How to Apply and Accept SNAP Benefits
Applying to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) as a retailer is a simple, online process that costs you nothing. You can complete an online application in as little as 15 minutes. This notice outlines the SNAP retailer application process and where you can get information on obtaining SNAP Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) equipment. Use the information below to understand the application process for SNAP authorization.
• USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is the only source that authorizes retailers – no one else. FNS does not work with outside entities to authorize retailers for SNAP.
• Apply Online! Becoming a SNAP authorized retailer is easy, apply online at: https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/retailer-apply. You can even check your application status online.
• No cost to apply. Applying to become a SNAP authorized retailer costs nothing, all you need to do is create an online account at this website: https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/retailer-apply and complete the application.
• You must be authorized by FNS before you can accept SNAP. You cannot accept EBT in your store until you are authorized by FNS. You will know you are authorized when you receive an FNS issued SNAP Permit*. Keep in mind that your SNAP Retailer application is not complete until you submit the required supporting documents. Instructions on how to submit your documentation are provided at the end of the online application.
• Choose your equipment. After you are authorized by FNS you can choose Point of Sale (POS) equipment. If you already have equipment, talk to your current processor about programming it to accept EBT and to obtain cost information. A partial list of available vendors for EBT equipment and services can be found at this link: https://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/snap/SNAP-EBT-TPP-guidance.pdf. You are not required to select from one of the companies on the list; you should review the cost of leasing or purchasing equipment and services and make the best choice for your business.
*After successful authorization, you are issued a SNAP Permit, which includes the store name, store location, your name and the names of any additional owners, and the FNS Number. Use the FNS Number on this permit when you are ordering your equipment and when your POS device is programmed.
We hope you find this information helpful when applying to become a SNAP authorized retailer.
If you have additional questions about the application process, please call the SNAP Retailer Service Center at 1-877-823-4369 for assistance.