SF-86, Medical Records, Investigation Scope

Hey everyone,

I am new to this site. I recently got offered a COE with the ODNI (NCTC). I will be receiving by Equip/SF-86 in a few days, I am looking for clarity on the section 21 of the SF-86 (I have seen the online forms on open source and am assuming they are the same questions I will be asked in the upcoming days).

I know for a fact that I do not have any of the mental health conditions laid out in section 21. However, I have been to therapy for anxiety, depression, and have talked about my porn use and ways to cut down on it; which I have successfully done due to efforts of my own.

With that said, will an investigator have access to my therapy notes or why I went to therapy (can my therapists notes of me be seen on my medical records)

I ask this question because I want to prepare myself for anything and everything, while also bearing in mind not to overshare with the investigators but answer them honestly.

Thank you so much everyone.

Careful how you read and respond to specific questions. If the question asks if you’ve been treated for these specific symptoms (and I haven’t seen one that asks depression or anxiety, but more of the afflictions dealing with psychosis); then you don’t need to list the therapy you underwent for depression/anxiety. If you don’t list it, they will not pursue it. But if your answer omits in some way information directly asked on SF-86, then it’s worse. However, if your question is yes, then you must list the therapy and they have every right to ask you to disclose whatever is relevant to ensure you’re fit to carry out your assigned duties. This is as more of a test of your credibility than it is a punishment for your life circumstances.

The SF86 has evolved over the years, and depending on which version your specific agency is using will determine the wording of Section 21 questions.

As Ann4Emm4 said, read each question carefully. Some ask for any mental health counseling (in the last 7 years), some have specific types that are excluded from having to be disclosed, and the most recent version goes into diagnosis as well as if you’ve ever been ordered to consult with a mental health professional, ever been hospitalized for a mental health condition, etc.

Part of the packet is a release form which includes the questions an Investigator will ask a mental health provider. So you will know exactly what will be asked of your provider. Depending on the answers to those questions, an Investigator may attempt to interview the provider with more specific questions and a review of the record. In my personal experience that is rare, I had two instances of it in 20 years. Your experience may differ.

Also be sure to read the questions under Section 27, Misuse of Information Technology Systems. If you are viewing porn (or other prohibited sites) at work that would be reportable under 27.


Thank you for your feedback. I do not watch porn at work, nor have I ever used any work equipment to watch porn. Also, I am attaching the version of that I have been looking at.

That version does not ask about depression or anxiety. The only question that could possibly include that is if you have ever been hospitalized for it.

Are you aware of the SF-86 questions/format that the ODNI (NCTC) may use? I wonder how theirs will differ the SF-86 I previously attached.

Ahh. I thought you were attaching the one they sent you. I would wait and see which one they send you, advise you to take your time carefully reading each question, and come back here for clarification if you still need help once you know for sure which version you’re completing. No one wants to accidentally mislead you. On my last personal re-investigation, they sent me one form, then emailed me after I submitted it and told me they wanted a different version, so it’s difficult to answer that question until you have the form actually sent to you.

Hey there, I’m the exception. They have not asked my doctors the 3 questions yet, but since my clinic doesn’t accept the sf-86 medical release form they are having me release all the information. I don’t have any of the Section 21 diagnoses, but I had a couple hospitalizations at the turn of the century.

Just because you signed a release that says “any and all information regarding my counseling and treatment” does not mean they are going to get your entire history. Many places use their own release and we use that verbiage in case the “3-questions” present issues we do not have to contact you for yet another release. We ask the three questions first in most instances and determine additional coverage from there. I have had an entire record sent to me after only requesting the 3-questions, but that’s not the norm.

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That makes sense. When asked directly what I needed to put on my doc’s release she said she would need to check all. I contacted my doctor and put them directly in contact with one another to coordinate, after which he updated and mentioned she requested he have the records ready when they meet.

I do hope she starts by asking the three questions because it would make the process faster (I already know there are no concerns). FWIW the request came from an adjudicator, I’m way past the initial investigation.

Edit: bummer, my doctor said his agency expressly forbids them from giving their professional opinion to the government. So records it is.