Why Was My Security Clearance Denied?

Security clearance grants individuals access to classified national security information. Whether you are a federal employee or a private contractor, your ability to keep your job may depend on achieving security clearance. The process to receive security clearance often involves a background check and application. However, there are many factors that may cause your clearance to be denied.

If your security clearance was denied, here’s what you need to do:

Understand the Reasons for Your Denial

Financial issues often result in the denial of security clearance to certain candidates. While you can’t be denied for having some debt, you can be denied if you are not taking action to manage and control your debt. Financial strain is a leading factor in espionage and financial crimes, and government agencies will look closely at your financial history and present financial status when determining whether or not you can be trusted with security clearance.

Personal conduct is another common factor that may cause your security clearance to be denied. This involves previous incidents using falsified information on the SF-86 security clearance application, as well as patterns of rule violations and falsifying timecards. Government officials will look at personal conduct to determine the trustworthiness of potential employees, and it is important to be completely honest and up front in your application.

Other reasons for security clearance denial include:

  • Drug use
  • Criminal history
  • Foreign influence
  • Sexual behavior
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Psychological conditions

Because security clearance allows access to classified data, it is not granted lightly. National security is of utmost importance, and the government will thoroughly inspect every applicant before granting security clearance. If your clearance has been denied, it is important to understand the reasons. Our federal employment Attorneys in D.C. can discuss your options and provide knowledgeable legal advice as you seek a beneficial solution.

Understand Your Options to Appeal

If you have been denied security clearance, you can appeal the decision. You will receive a Letter of Denial (also known as a Statement of Reasons or Notification of Denial) outlining the reasons your application was denied. After receiving the letter, you should provide a thorough written response. This may allow you to appeal the decision without attending a hearing, because the adjudicator may reverse the denial or the judge may grant your appeal based on your response.

However, you may also choose to attend an in-person hearing before an administrative law judge. It will typically be scheduled 4 to 8 weeks out in the D.C. area or in a federal building close to where you live. A hearing is a mini court trial, where you can present evidence to support your arguments against the adjudicator’s denial of your security clearance. When preparing for a hearing, it is important to obtain experienced legal counsel to protect your interests. Our D.C. federal employment lawyer can represent you from start to finish.

If the judge still denies your security clearance at the hearing, you can make a formal appeal. This is a limited contradiction to the judge’s decision, and it must be based on technical factors. For example, you can try to show that the judge was mistaken in an area of law, exhibited improper bias toward you, or failed to consider a relevant piece of evidence. However, the judge’s decision is final, and it is important to do thorough research and prepare your case before appealing the denial of your security clearance.

Call Our Office Today at (202) 350-3881 for Passionate Legal Assistance

With The Law Firm of John P. Mahoney, Esq., Attorneys at Law, PLLC, you can receive the aggressive representation you need for your case. If your security clearance has been denied, our federal employment attorneys in D.C. can talk with you to determine a course of action. We have 30 years of legal experience and can represent you throughout the appeals process.

Contact us today for a free 30-minute phone consultation.