The Assessment of Need for Protective Supervision, also known as SOC 821, is an In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) form that asks the applicant’s health care professional to assess the applicant’s memory, orientation, and judgment. This evaluation sheds light on the applicant’s mental functioning. Here are 5 tips for your SOC 821:
- Generally, applicants who are determined to have severe deficits in memory, orientation, and judgment are more likely to qualify for protective supervision. Because “moderate” and “severe” are vague descriptors of mental functioning, provide the doctor with the following examples of “severe” deficits:
- Memory refers to the ability to recall learned behaviors and information from the past. Examples of a severe memory deficit include forgetting to start or finish activities of daily living which are important to the individual’s health and/or safety; the individual cannot maintain much continuity of thought in conversation; the individual does not remember his age, address, day of the week, etc.;
- Orientation refers to an awareness of time, place, self and other people in one’s environment. Examples of severe disorientation include wandering off; inability to identify significant others or relate safely to one’s environment or situation; no sense of time of day; a lack of awareness of the purpose of the social worker’s visit.
- Judgment means the ability to make decisions so as not to put one’s self or property in danger, which entails an understanding of risks involved and consequences. Examples of severely impaired judgment include making decisions without regard to safety or well-being, such as an inability to comprehend safety around the stove.
- In addition, provide the doctor with specific examples of the applicant’s dangerous behaviors and deficiencies in memory, orientation, and judgment. If you kept a dangerous behavior log, share it with the doctor.
- The doctor you choose should ideally be someone who has seen the applicant for a long time, not just an appointment or two in order to get the SOC 821 filled out. Otherwise, the county or an administrative law judge might say that the doctor didn’t really know the applicant or personally observe the applicant’s deficiencies in mental functioning.
- Make sure the doctor provides an explanation under memory, orientation, and judgment. Often times, the doctor will only check the box that identifies the severity of the patient’s mental deficit without also providing a detailed explanation. If the doctor runs out of room on the SOC 821, the doctor should include an attachment.
- If the applicant has seen more than one health care professional, you should submit multiple SOC 821s. Any medical professional specializing in memory, orientation, judgment can fill out the SOC 821. The more supporting documentation you provide, such as multiple SOC 821s indicating that the applicant has severe deficits in mental functioning, the stronger your case for protective supervision becomes.
The information in this post is not legal advice, nor is it intended to be. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.