The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is the formal name for the food stamp program in Texas. The program is designed to ensure low-income households receive help buying nutritious foods that they desperately need but cannoy afford. In most cases, this program is used by honest people who have fallen on hard tims. Unfortunately, some people abuse the program, and you may need to report this fraud to the proper authorities.
More About SNAP Fraud
SNAP fraud can be committed by individuals and retailers. A common form of fraud is selling or trafficking the benefits of SNAP for cash. Fraud also occurs when people lie on their applications to qualify for the program or to receive more benefits. It's important that both SNAP recipients and retailers who accept SNAP benefits are honest at all times to maintain the integrity of the program.
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According to the USDA, SNAP fraud costs taxpayers millions of dollars each year. If you suspect fraud in Texas, you can report it to the state of Texas or the United States Department of Agriculture.
Report Food Stamp Fraud in Texas
The Health and Human Services Commission's Office of the Inspector General is responsible for investigating public assistance fraud. According to the OIG, anyone can report suspected fraud. You can file the report online in Texas using the "Waste, Abuse & Fraud Form." The form asks you to state the allegation, including the name of person or retailer you're reporting, and where and when it occurred.
You'll be asked to provide your name and contact information. You have the right to remain anonymous, but providing contact information helps with the investigation. You can attach any documents available that support your fraud claim. To report fraud over the phone, call 800-436-6184.
USDA's Office of the Inspector General
Although the state of Texas administers SNAP locally, the USDA's Food and Nutrition Service runs the federal program on a federal level. You can report fraud directly to the USDA's Office of the Inspector General by calling 800-424-9121 or 202-690-1622. You can also submit a report online with the OIG.
You can choose to file an anonymous report online, but if you do, the OIG can't contact you with additional questions or provide you information on the outcome of the investigation. You'll need to provide details about the fraud allegation and identifying information about the person or retailer you're reporting. If you have any documents to submit, fax them to 202-690-2474 and note that you filed a fraud report online.
If you prefer, you can mail a written complaint to: United States Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector, General PO Box 23399, Washington, DC 20026-3399
Food Stamp Fraud Consequences
After a fraud report is received, the Texas Office of the Inspector General reviews the information and launches an investigation to determine if the allegations are true.
If convicted of fraud, a person's consequences include temporary or lifetime ban from the program. Any benefits the recipient wasn't entitled to receive may need to be repaid. Criminal violations are investigated by the USDA's OIG. The USDA explains that a criminal SNAP fraud conviction can lead to the need for restitution and/or imprisonment.