Whether it’s due to not meeting job suitability criteria, or background investigation process snafu, there are a number of reasons why your job application or security clearance processing could be discontinued.

Let’s walk through why a ClearanceJobsBlog subscriber’s NSA application was possibly discontinued:

I’m not sure what went wrong? I had just finished the poly and psych eval in August, to which I passed. I had to retake the poly the day after, but I passed the second time.
The Psych Eval person had me hunt some doctors down and have them fax papers, but I was told if they needed anything more once I had it faxed, they’d call me.

Now a week later after the fax, I get that in my email.
Kinda really down about it now. I was going to write the letter to see, but trying to research this type of discontinuation, every result I find no one said what happened after they wrote the letter, they never come back to their topics and say what it was or if they found out what it was. The doctors I had to hunt down were very … uncooperative. One guy no longer worked there so they told me to fax the medical record instead. The other place I went there 3 different times, but it was a facility of different doctors. The psych doctor that saw me was on vacation so another filled it out but did it without me there since I no longer go there or have insurance and the doctor would have to make an appointment (which was 3 months back wait) to get it filled out with them. The other doctor at that facility for mental health court no longer worked there.

Could this be the reason for the discontinuation? The lady on the phone when I told her this told me she’d run it by the Psych Doctor to see if it was enough and if it wasn’t they’d call me … They didn’t call me within the week, so the next week I did a follow up call to see if they wanted more, they said if they did the recruiter would say so I emailed the recruiter, got no response. Two days later yesterday I get the discontinuation. I’m … very lost.”


The security clearance background investigation is just one part of the process – there’s also the suitability requirements of the agency along with the basic aspects of working with a recruiter and applying for a position. Unfortunately, when it comes to being rejected by a three-letter agency, often you’re left with more questions than answers when it comes to why you didn’t make it through the process.

Here is the communication from the recruiter:

“We appreciate the interest you have shown the National Security Agency (NSA) and the time you have invested exploring employment opportunities with us. I regret to inform you that I have been notified that your processing with NSA has been discontinued. The specific reason(s) for this has not been disclosed to me; however, it is important to understand that our employment decisions are often a result of a comprehensive evaluation of many factors. Such factors include, but are not limited to, individual qualifications, personnel security guidelines, psychological standards, test results, and prior work experience, where appropriate. In most cases, candidates can be reconsidered for employment after a year of the closeout decision.”

Whether it’s due to not meeting specific position requirements (lacking experience, a degree, the position closed/changed, etc.) or if they denied you based on suitability, they did invite you to reapply after a year. The good news is also that without a Statement of Reasons or official security clearance denial or revocation on the books, you don’t have the bad baggage of a security clearance denial. While the applicant can’t apply with that agency for a year, that doesn’t mean they can’t apply for a position with a different agency.

We have seen other candidates receive this same communication but receive a security clearance through another three letter agency soon after, so your hopes of a security clearance career shouldn’t be lost!


Much about the clearance process resembles the Pirate’s Code: “more what you’d call guidelines than actual rules.” This case-by-case system is meant to consider the whole person, increase process security, and allow the lowest-risk/highest-need candidates to complete the process. However, it also creates a  lot of questions for applicants. For this reason, we maintain ClearanceJobsBlog.com – a forum where clearance seekers can ask the cleared community for advice on their specific security concerns. Ask CJ explores questions posed  on the ClearanceJobs Blog forum, emails received, and comments from this site.

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Katie Keller is a marketing fanatic that enjoys anything digital, communications, promotions & events. She has 8+ years in the DoD supporting multiple contractors with recruitment strategy, staffing augmentation, marketing, & communications. Favorite type of beer: IPA. Fave hike: the Grouse Grind, Vancouver, BC. Fave social platform: ClearanceJobs! 🇺🇸