The U.S. Department of State determines the people that receive security clearance based on very specific guidelines. Their decision takes into account potential conflicts of interest, reliability, trustworthiness, self-discipline, integrity, and ability to protect classified material. Guideline I specifies concerns about possible psychological conditions which could compromise critical government information.

Guideline I Concerns

The reason psychological condition is a factor in security clearance is a mental conditions effect on clear thought. Certain emotional, mental, and personality disorders can cause impaired judgment, reliability, or trustworthiness, 3 things essential to accessing confidential information. Formal diagnosis of a disorder isn’t necessary under this guideline.

Potential Disqualifying Behavior

Certain actions or behaviors could disqualify you completely from ever getting a security clearance, even if you were granted the privilege previously. These include:

  • Any responses that cast doubt on sound judgment, reliability, or trustworthiness, including such things as emotional instability, irresponsibility, dysfunctionality, violence, paranoia, or bizarre actions
  • Any behavior determined by a duly qualified mental health professional as potentially impairing judgment, reliability, or trustworthiness
  • Failing to follow treatment advice related to any diagnosed emotional, mental, or personality condition

Circumstances Mitigating Security Concerns

Certain conditions or behaviors could be considered less dangerous if the following is true:

  • The condition can be treated, and the individual has consented to treatment
  • The person has voluntarily entered counseling or treatment for a treatable condition and has received a favorable prognosis by a mental health professional
  • A mental health professional has indicated a recent remission of an individual’s previous condition
  • Past emotional instability was caused by a temporary condition, such as illness or the death of a loved one
  • Any former emotional or behavioral problems are not currently presently displayed by an individual

You Can Appeal the Decision

If you are denied clearance based on Security Clearance Guideline I, you can file an appeal, particularly if your condition was temporary or is being treated. The Supreme Court has ruled that if an organization isn’t clear on whether or not a person is fit for clearance, access must be denied. Appealing the decision, however, is a complicated process. Make sure you have an experienced security clearance appeal lawyer on your side. Contact us at (800) 481-2526 or fill out our online form with your case details. We look forward to working with you.