What if Security Clearance is Denied?

In many occupations, obtaining security clearance is highly beneficial for an individual’s career as it opens many doors. However, not everyone is eligible for access to classified information.

Security clearance is only granted to individuals who pass a rigorous background investigation, and who have proven that they are trustworthy, reliable individuals.

There are various reasons why someone would be denied security clearance, such as a criminal history record, substance abuse, mental or personality disorders, and a history of poor financial conduct to name a few.

What is the adjudicative process?

When an individual applies for security clearance, he or she goes through what is called the adjudicative process. The adjudicative process is where a sufficient period of the applicant’s life is examined to determine if he or she is an acceptable security risk.

During the adjudication process, a number of variables are carefully weighed, which the U.S. government refers to as the “whole person” concept. During the adjudication process, all available information about the applicant (favorable and unfavorable) is carefully considered before a determination is made.

The adjudicator considers:

  • The nature and seriousness of the conduct
  • How long ago the conduct occurred
  • The applicant’s age at the time of the conduct
  • If the applicant’s conduct was voluntary
  • The applicant’s motivation during the unfavorable conduct
  • The possibility of pressure or duress
  • The likelihood that the unfavorable conduct will recur

There are numerous reasons why a person can be denied, which are addressed in the adjudicative guidelines. The adjudicative guidelines specifically judge: allegiance to the U.S., financial reasons, the applicant’s sexual behavior, outside activities, drug and alcohol use, emotional considerations, and the misuse of technology information systems.

Filing an Appeal

If you apply for security clearance and it is denied, you have the opportunity to file an appeal where you can address any negative information that was gathered during the background investigation, but it is not a DIY situation.

If the adjudication process resulted in an unsatisfactory decision that you desire to correct, Claery & Hammond, LLP can help you clarify or correct the derogatory finding, and request a reversal in judgement.

Was your security clearance denied or revoked? If so, contact our security clearance attorneys for the help you need and deserve!