Intentional Program Violations Food Assistance

Authored By: Iowa Legal Aid


Iowa’s food assistance program is also known as SNAP.  If the Iowa Department of Health and Human services (HHS) thinks that a person who gets SNAP has committed an Intentional Program Violation (IPV), HHS will send that person a written notice.  

What is an IPV?

An IPV is a violation of SNAP rules that can get you kicked off the SNAP program for a period of time and possibly a bill for overpayment of benefits.  Some examples of IPV are:
•    Purposely making a false or misleading statement
•    Purposely misrepresenting, concealing, or withholding facts
Until recently, when HHS thought someone committed an IPV, HHS would automatically give that person a hearing.  
At an IPV hearing, both HHS and the SNAP recipient get a chance to give evidence to a judge.  The judge then decides if the person committed an IPV and if their SNAP benefits should stop and if they have to pay back the benefits wrongfully received. The judge may also impose a period of disqualification. This is the period of time when the person or household cannot get SNAP benefits.
If the person disagrees with the judge’s decision, he or she may be able to appeal by filing a case in district court.

Iowa has a new rule for IPV cases

Starting September 1, 2021, if DHS believes that the person has committed an IPV , they will send SNAP recipients
•    a written notice that the person is suspected of an IPV
•    a form to waive the person’s right to a hearing in front of an administrative law judge

The waiver form will include a disqualification period and any overpayment amount that HHS will impose if the person signs and returns the form.  

Only sign the waiver form if you agree that you should be disqualified and that you owe the overpayment amount. If you don’t sign the waiver form, HHS will give you a hearing.


If the person signs the waiver form and sends it back to HHS, the disqualification period and any overpayment listed on the form will be imposed, and there will not be a hearing.

If you get any notices from HHS about an intentional program violation, you should read the notice carefully. If you have any questions about the notice or about signing or not signing the waiver form, you should contact an attorney.  


Last Review and Update: Jul 05, 2023
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