Your Rights and Responsibilities

You have the right to:

  1. have your signed application accepted on the same day that you submit it to the local department of social services;
  2. have an adult who knows your situation apply for you if you cannot get to the local department of social service;
  3. get your Food Supplement Program (FSP) benefits within 30 days after you apply if you meet eligibility requirements;
  4. get FSP within 7 days if you are in immediate need and qualify for faster service;
  5. not be discriminated against because you are elderly or because of sex, race, color, disability, religious creed, national origin, or political beliefs;
  6. be told in advance if the local department of social services is going to reduce or end your benefits during your certification period because of a change in your situation;
  7. look at your own case file and a copy of the FSP rules; and
  8. have an administrative hearing if you don’t think the rules were applied correctly in your case. At an administrative you may explain to a hearing officer why you don’t agree with what the local department of social services has done.

 
You can ask the local department of social services for an administrative hearing in writing, in person, or over the phone. The office will give you information about the hearing rules.

You can ask a friend or relative or anyone else to help you prepare for the hearing and go to the hearing with you.

In some cases, you can continue to get your FSP benefits without a change while you are waiting for the hearing decision.

If the administrative law judge decides the local department of social services is right, you will have to repay the value of any FSP benefits for which you were not eligible. If the administrative law judge decides you are right, you will continue to get or begin to get the correct amount of benefits. If the administrative law judge decides you are right and you did not get continued benefits, the amount of any FSP benefits you had a right to get will be given to you.

Your responsibilities

  1. When you apply for the FSP, answer all questions completely and honestly. Sign your name to certify, under penalty of perjury, that all your answers are true and correct.
  2. Provide proof that you are eligible. Promptly report changes in household circumstances to the local department of social services that you are required to report. Do not put your money or possessions in someone else’s name in order to be able to get FSP benefits.
  3. Do not make changes on any FSP cards or documents.
  4. Do not sell, trade, or give away your food benefits, or any EBT cards or documents.
  5. Use FSP benefits only to buy eligible items.

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement