Anonymous User wrote:Will federal employers inquire into your mental health records as a condition for the jerb? Have bipolar disorder (under treatment) and was wondering whether this would present a problem.
It's built into the background investigation paperwork, yes, and once you've submitted it and the investigation has begun, they'll ask you to sign waivers allowing those treating you to provide letters attesting to whether your condition presents a risk. Edit:
The concern is only whether the condition poses a risk to security and whether you're following the provider's instructions and care plan.
The feds processing your paperwork don't actually care about the bipolar diagnosis otherwise and can't discriminate against you under the ADA. If your doctors say your condition doesn't present a risk, the feds are not allowed to count it or its treatment against you. If you had some brushes with the law or school authorities because of the condition, noting that the underlying cause has been determined and that you are dealing with it responsibly is an important plus.
Other than during the background investigation interview itself, you're unlikely to ever be asked in person about being bipolar.Edit:
You will be given a urine test for drugs before the hiring decision is made, so make sure the only thing there to detect is prescribed medications. Once you're hired, testing can be required at anytime without warning, but isn't a common occurrence. In 11 years at DOJ I was never retested and only two of my colleagues ever mentioned being retested.
The one thing you can't do without destroying your chances is try to hide it. That's an immediate exit with no hope of return. In general, in federal service, being caught in a lie is much more damaging than telling any truth about yourself.