What exactly is a SOR and how do respond to one

My security clearance investigation was closed two years ago, in October of 2015. I just received a call from my company’s security officer saying they are sending me a package from DoD CAF. I am assuming this might be a SOR. However, I am not positive.

I already have a copy of my background investigation. The only derogatory information on it were three misdemeanors from March of 2004.

I want to prepare myself as best as I can so I can do what is needed and keep my job.

I highly doubt that you would get an SOR for 3 misdemeanors that were over 10 years ago. Did you disclose them on the SF-86? Was there other information that might be discrepant? Nothing to do except to wait until you get whatever is coming and then go from there. Do your research on this site based on what issues may be present.

I answered the questions 100% truthfully. I was not required to disclose one of them as it did not fit the categories they were asking for. It was a theft charge.

I only listed the charges I was required to based off the criterion. The only misdemeanor I didn’t list was a pety theft charge that didn’t yield any jail time/sentencing nor was an initial felony charge.

Unless I goofed and didn’t understand the questions. Unless the charges or convictions meet the criterion asked by the “Have you ever” questions. The investigator didn’t bring up anything during my interview or I would have immediately said something.

Nothing else discrepant in the report other than interviewees not remembering certain things or remembering things differently.

An SOR (Statement of Reasons) is list of items that the government wishes to use to deny your continued clearance. Make no mistake, the lawyer who prepared it believes that you should not continue to hold your clearance. This may be ridiculous on its face, but you need to treat it seriously.

You will have something like 20 days to respond after you receive the package. As was proven in my case, you never know what could end up on an SOR. They may have decided that they think you should have reported the other charge, it may be the three charges despite the fact that they are ten year old misdemeanors. If that’s the case, you will have to go through the guidelines to determine the applicable mitigating factors and write everything up. Be prepared to provide documentation for any claim that you make.

But, Marko is right . . . There is little that you can do until you get the package. This site provides you access to many experienced people who can help you prepare your response.

By the way, you will be given the option of having a hearing or having a decision made on “the written record”. My recommendation, if you decide on a hearing, is to hire an attorney. The government will be represented by one and I don’t recommend going up against an attorney pro se. The written record is different. You will get a chance to see the governments case and then to respond. They do not get to counter.

The SOR is just the first step if you decide to skip the hearing. You will respond to the SOR and the government will produce a FORM (File Of Relevant Information) and you respond to this. It is the ALL of the documentation that the judge will examine to determine the outcome of your case. If you win, the government MAY decide to appeal and drag the case out for a few more months.

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When you get a ‘Package’ is that a good thing or a bad? Is it a guaranteed SOR or could it also tell you that you are cleared?

I do not know yet. I’m at work, the package arrived at my house this morning. Will not know until I get home. I have been granted an interim and been working under one for the past 2.5 years. If there is something in my past that is keeping me from being eligible for a final, it should have come up a long time ago.

I’ve opened the packet and it’s an independent evaluation interrogatory. It says after review of my case, DoD CAF has determined that my participation in a independent psychological evaluation, at no cost to myself, will assist the DoD CAF in completing the security clearance eligibility.

What exactly is this?

I would say you are still in the running but there are unanswered questions. I take this as a positive. You have not been eliminated. Now, you mentioned not speaking to an arrest.

"The only misdemeanor I didn’t list was a petty theft charge that didn’t yield any jail time/sentencing nor was an initial felony charge."

I’m assuming this took place outside of the 10 year requirement? An arrest is an arrest even if dismissed. Might have a lack of candor situation. I am a broken record on this topic: over report instead of under report. If it is close…report it anyway. Outside of 10 years/ I’m still reporting it. Each event may be minor. Taken as a group it may speak to a failure to follow rules. But outside 10 years I think it may be a stretch. It can be a conduct letter you are required to sign. Those are a good sign. It means you are cleared but must acknowledge some behavior.


Yes, at the time I filled out the sf86, it had been 11 years since the arrest. Now it’s been nearly 14 years ago. It did not fit the “Have you ever” criterion, therefore I didn’t list it.

I don’t think that would be their concern. Only you know your life and why they might ask for a psychological evaluation. As this is anonymous and you were so inclined we would need more info to best understand the situation. Was there past treatment? Was it anger or violence management related, past psychotropic drug prescribed, former mental health commitments, etc. I would still think this is not negative or you would be eliminated. It seems they are not able to eliminate you outright. But only you would know what they want to talk about.

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The only time I had any clinical treatment was when I was a child, back in the eighties. I was seen by a counselor for several years until I was about 10. I guess they thought I had ADD, which is a very common misconception with kids who have a hard time paying attention in class. Other than that, I’ve never seen anyone nor been on any medications.

I received the exact same independent evaluation interrogatory last week.

There are two things that might be driving this. I had some derogatory information that came up in a past clearance investigation with another agency during the lifestyle polygraph. That first clearance processing stopped before it was fully ajudicated. I think some vague notes were shared from the first agency to the current agency who the clearance is for. I was questioned by an investigator specifically about them to clarify.

I also disclosed past stress management therapy, marriage counseling, and diagnosis for depression that included psychotropic prescription. My understanding is that none of those are supposed to be disqualifying for a clearance.

I wonder if it is it becoming standard policy to include independent psychological evaluation if there is past history of things like depression and other mental health diagnosis?

thank you very much guys for explaining it to me. I’ve found a lot of useful information here. i would really appreciate if someone could help me if i am going to have some other questions for you in the future as right now i’m unable to learn because of some dragon pharma drugs that i’m taking which is impairing my thinking (my doctor put me on them for some health issues i have). please, I see that you know these things much better than I do and later i will surely need your help!

Did you get your clearance yet?

Interesting. I click on your words “Dragon Pharma” and I am connected to a Balkan steroid pharmacy web page. If you are taking items from there…you might have problems. Or it could be a random misspelled word the computer provided a hot link for.