TS clearance "length" and Mental Health "Disqualifiers"


#1

As I mentioned in the title, there are two areas of concern I have regarding my security clearances.
(1) I was in the military for 30 years. I had a TS/SCI clearance for the vast majority of that time. I had my TS re-confirmed in early 2014, but I wound up taking a forced retirement in summer 2014. I was able to get a job in another federal agency as a contractor. The position requires a public trust (equivalent of secret) clearance. My question is: If I am applying for jobs that require a TS clearance, but I am in a Secret clearance job, does the TS clearance "expire" at some point in the future before the normal 5-year point? I almost got a contractor job earlier this year and explained my situation with the CEO of the company, and he though there was a 2 1/2 year "window" after getting a TS but not being in a TS job that something could be worked out. Is this true, or if I get a TS job and my employer knows my situation their security manager should know how to deal with it, or is there anything I can do in the meantime?

(2) When I did my last security clearance back in 2013, I did notice a question about whether or not I had seen a Mental Health Professional in the previous 5 years. Where is it defined (Federal Regulation, etc) what a Mental Health Professional is? Is the act of seeing a Mental Health Professional in and of itself disqualifying for maintaining a security clearance? If you are seeing a mental health professional and you are getting prescription drugs that controls your condition, is that good enough to continue work in a cleared position? The answers I receive on this question are important. If it looks like seeing a MHP is BAD even if you get help, I would need to know that ASAP.
Thanks for any help you can give me on this-


#2

My two cents: Seeing a mental health professional and even taking meds is not an issue in and of itself. Some of these anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds are becoming pretty common. You just need to disclose them, and they might contact your doctor to verify that the condition (whatever it is) is under control. I've heard of people having to have an additional interview but that seems to depend on the agency sponsoring the clearance. Please don't worry too much about this as it is in no way "in and of itself" a disqualifier.

The only thing I've seen about a defintion is not having to list issues related to family counseling or something... read the instructions carefully... but if medications are involved I think that needs to be reported.

As far as getting a job based on a previous clearance, the limit I've heard is two years. Now, it used to be that employers could usually find someplace to get you "read on" or otherwise justify holding a higher level clearance than your actual current assignment required, but that is becoming more difficult. Everything related to clearances is becoming more difficult


#3

Concur with Marko on mental health counseling NOT being a disqualifier. Even severe depression if under control with meds...not an issue. Unless you are not honest and do not disclose it. They are pretty commonplace, and encouraged by military commands to help during periods of stress. Specifically, marital, grief, family and PTSD counseling need not be disclosed. However, if any of that led to medication I recommend it.

Ans SCI will expire in 1 year, other clearances normally expire in 2 years if you have not "punched a clock" at least once in a cleared capacity. Once you left the TS SCI cleared billet, you technically no longer have that clearance, merely eligibility. So once you started working the Secret cleared position your 2 years clock started running again on the Secret clearance. Once 24 months have elapsed from last being in the TS SCI billet...that eligibility is gone and a new investigation likely started. I have found even if one is close to the 24 months they at times will initiate a new clearance investigation.