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Why Most DOHA Appeals End in Denial — And How You Can Improve Your Chances for Approval

Why Most DOHA Appeals End In Denial — And How You Can Improve Your Chances For Approval

Certain active-duty service personnel, government employees, contractors, and reservists are required to have a security clearance. This must be attained and maintained to work and build a successful career with the armed services.

A security clearance can be denied or revoked. In this case, it may be referred to the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA) and an administrative law judge who decides to approve or deny your DOHA appeals.

Top Reasons Your Clearance Is Rejected or Revoked

The most common reason your additional security clearance application is rejected is that incomplete information was provided. Contractors must submit complete information for all employees, and individuals must submit information for any adult with whom they cohabitate.

The application may also be missing information on relatives. To expedite the process, it’s important to ensure that all forms are completely and accurately filled out. The top five reasons the security clearance application is denied include:

Missing employment information – You must include paid or unpaid work, consulting, and any temporary military duty locations where you served for more than 90 days. The application must also list all periods of unemployment.

Missing Social Security number – Including spouses or adult cohabitants.

Missing information about relatives – The application requires information about any person within specific categories who are living or deceased. This includes their identifying information and citizenship. Any relatives born outside the U.S. require proof of citizenship.

Missing Selective Service registration information – Any male born after December 31, 1959, must have registered for the Selective Service or fully explain the reasons for not having registered.

Incomplete information about debts or bankruptcy – Security clearance requires disclosure of all financial obligations. This includes any that are delinquent and any information pertaining to bankruptcy.

The Majority of Appeals Are Denied

If your security clearance is denied or revoked, you have the right to an appeal. This is done through DOHA. This is the largest department of the Defense Legal Services Agency. They are charged with vetting security clearance cases for 24 other federal agencies and for contractors doing classified work.

The appeal process includes a notice of appeal that must be submitted within 15 days of the administrative judge’s decision. The appeal brief must then be submitted in writing within 45 days. The board reviews the material issues that are raised in the appeal to determine whether there were errors.

You cannot submit new evidence in an appeal. The success rate for appeals is less than ten percent, and those who are represented by attorneys have a greater chance of success than those applicants who represent themselves.

How to Improve Your Chances for Approval

Security clearances are denied if you have a criminal history or history of using drugs. Applicants must have no potential influence from foreign friends or business associates. When your personal conduct is in question, it may cause your security clearance to be denied or revoked.

Your personal financial situation must also be in good standing. Significant bad credit or debt increases your security risk. You may believe that you would not accept a bribe. However, debt increases the probability that a person might be compromised.

Of course, the best way to ensure that your application is approved is to not be denied in the first place. It’s crucial that you fill out the application completely and follow the rules and regulations to obtain a security clearance.

If you are denied, or your security clearance is revoked, you can improve your chances of a successful appeal by hiring Invictus Law. We will represent you, protect your rights, and develop a written argument for submission for DOHA appeals.

Contact Invictus Law to Fight for Your Clearance

If you are facing a security clearance application or appeal, contact Invictus Law today. The sooner our legal team is involved in the process, the greater the chance we have to either ensure that your application is complete or to develop a successful argument for appeal. Call our offices today at 757-317-5125 or contact us online for a confidential consultation and case review.


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