SNAP Fraud and Abuse

It is illegal to knowingly use, transfer, acquire, change or possess SNAP benefits or South Dakota EBT cards in any way not authorized by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. If the value is $100 or more, you could be charged with a felony. If found guilty, you could be fined up to $250,000, be sentenced to 20 years in jail, or both.

Persons found guilty of intentional program violations may be disqualified from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program 12 months for the first offense, 24 months for the second and permanently for the third offense. In addition, the court will require repayment of any unauthorized SNAP benefits issued.

Households CANNOT use SNAP benefits to buy:

  • Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco;
  • Any nonfood items such as pet foods, soaps, paper products and household supplies
  • Vitamins and medicines.
  • Food that will be eaten in the store.
  • Hot foods

In some areas, restaurants can be authorized to accept SNAP benefits from qualified homeless, elderly, or disabled people in exchange for low-cost meals. SNAP benefits cannot be exchanged for cash.