How would taking a voluntary severance package be perceived in adjudication vs termination from employment?

Hi all, I’m in the middle of processing for and IC position, about 8 months since SF-86 submission.

My current and unrelated job may be offering voluntary severance packages and financially it would be a no brainer for me to take since finding new, similar work in this region would be extremely easy. Plus I would be released from relocation and signing bonuses I would have to pay back if my clearance eligibility is approved in the near future. However my concern is that my BI is ongoing and this will be something I’ll need to explain and could cause at best a delay, and at worst a denial.

Can anyone weigh in with some insight? I would be leaving a job rather quickly from when I started, albeit voluntarily. Staying on is 100% on the table and as I’m not strapped for cash, if that is the “safer” move in regards to my clearance i’d gladly turn down the package.


In general, leaving on your own terms or via involuntary layoff, due to no issues at work, always “looks” and “is” better on paper and in real life than being fired or let go due to something you did. The latter will, naturally, bring many questions. A few times I have heard stories from subjects and even found evidence that a “firing” was something done “to” a person by unethical boss (eg, sexual harassment). Bottom line: Tell the truth, the whole truth. And if you were fired give your unvarnished side of story. Life sometimes happens “to us” and we just deal…then Move on, live in the present and don’t worry about the past.

1 Like

It shouldn’t present any problem all. Be prepared to explain the package that you were offered and why it was financially in your best interest to take it.

All I can offer is that I know a guy who left under the same circumstances (accepted a voluntary severance package) who came back to work as a part-time employee working on the same program with the same clearances.

You might be asked to provide a ‘reason for leaving’ and you could just say ‘voluntary layoff.’ It happens all the time, nothing at all unusual about it. And as @IHateRZs says, even if you are involuntarily laid off due to lack or work or whatever reason, it is not a problem.

Now, I do know one guy who got laid off but later found out that the company had filed some kind of incident report on him which messed up his secret clearance. He got it cleared up but it took some time. There have been other similar reports on here, I dont know what you can do to prevent or counter that. PS he eventually returned to that same company!

Not seeing a negative. Matter of fact, them paying you, and releasing you from a repayment of bonus…indicates you leaving on good terms. If it were bad terms I don’t think they would offer you money to go away. Although, knowing some of my previous work centers…that isn’t such a bad idea…I would discuss with senior HR person how this will be categorized in the work history. Many places can only say one of two things “Eligible for rehire,” or “not eligible for rehire.” Those statements can speak volumes. One means there is no negative file. The other one can be used to indicate, yeah we really don’t want this guy around here.