Denied TS/SSBI >10 years ago, should I even apply to places that only need TS or lower?

I’m in the Computer Engineering field, around 2002 I applied for and started a clearance process with a TLA for a TS/SCI full lifestyle polygraph and got through to the point of taking the poly. now I’m looking for a new position and most of them in this area want a clearance of one flavor or another. is there any point in applying? I’m not suggesting I should try to not tell people about the denied clearance, I just want to know if it’s even possible to get a lower level clearance, having been denied a high level one?

You certainly can. If you were denied, you need speak to that on the SF 86. There is a specific block asking if you had a denial or revocation (item 25b, page15 on Jul 2008 version).You should have received a statement of reasons after the denial. I would include this and speak to the specific issues mentioned. If it was drug use and you maintained a drug free life since then, state this. If you continued and continue to use and are now past the age of 26…the period required for being drug free grows. If finances were the problem then and you resolved that…speak to it. If it was an issue of a lack of candor…hiding something or not wanting to discuss something…your hill may be steeper.

I got a secret clearance after not passing a poly for TS years before.

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thanks for the info; I don’t recall having ever received any statement. I’ll see if I can get anything.

You can request the ROI on your record. Obviously this takes time. But be frank with yourself and the investigator. If you were turned down for repeated, prolonged bad behavior…you will need significant time to mitigate that. If it was youthful indiscretion, minor MJ use and you are now drug free for many years I would have no issue submitting you. Make sure your finances are up to snuff and above a 650 FICO, better if 680 or higher. That would eliminate the two biggest reasons clearances are lost or denied, drugs and finances. Only you (and your case file) knows what is in there.