Security Clearance Disqualifiers

The process of obtaining a security clearance is long, stressful, and complicated one. The denial of a security clearance application can occur for a variety of reasons. As you begin the application process, it may be helpful to understand a couple of primary security clearance disqualifiers. These disqualifiers are issues that will typically trigger a denial. This understanding can help you approach the process with a more realistic idea of your chances for approval.

Financial Issues
Financial issues are one of the number one type of security clearance disqualifiers. Security clearance holders must have no significant financial concerns. If the background check reveals a considerable amount of debt, missed payments, tax evasion, collection judgments, check fraud, foreclosures, embezzlement or bankruptcies, or gambling issues, then your application might be rejected. The U.S. Department of State looks at your complete financial profile. Investigators consider when the financial issues occurred, any extenuating circumstances such as divorce or illness, and your behavior since that time. Complete issue explanation can help to positively impact the investigators decision on your application.

Security Clearance Disqualifiers

Personal Issues
Good or bad, your personal life and mental health will impact your security clearance application. For example, some mental health issues that could affect your judgment or reliability are cause for rejection, particularly if you exhibit violent, unstable, irresponsible or paranoid behavior. While, other mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety, that can be appropriately explained and managed might not result in a denial. The background investigation also covers relationships with other people, including relatives, friends and business associates. For example, a relationship with known criminals can be a reason for denial.

Substance Abuse
Drug and alcohol abuse impair judgment and can be another reason for denial. The investigators search for any evidence that would indicate that you have a problem with alcohol, DUIs, evidence of drinking while at work, and proof that you have been arrested for selling, using, manufacturing or growing drugs. If your application includes appropriate explanation of past behavior and proof of change in behavior, then substance abuse does not have to result in disqualification.

Criminal Activity
Criminal activity can be one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome in an application for security clearance. Those granted security clearance should be of impeccable character and criminal activity may call into question the ability to follow regulations and rules. Common disqualifiers often include incidents in which you have committed a serious crime, admitted to a crime, or been accused of a crime (even if you were never charged or convicted of the crime). A dishonorable discharge from the military also can result in disqualification of your clearance application. Being able to adequately explain the circumstances around your behavior, your current record, and how past behavior would not occur again, then the investigator might consider approving your application.

Again, the process of applying for a security clearance is a long and complicated one and there are many security clearance disqualifiers that pop up along the way. If you need help navigating the complicated process or composing appropriate explanations for any potential disqualifiers, then we can help.

We provide legal resources, information, and referrals for security clearance services. CONTACT US today if you would like additional information, to be referred to an attorney in your area, or to request a referral for a consultation on your specific situation. We look forward to hearing from you.

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