Last Updated: 3/16/2023
A Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) is an evaluation given to workers’ comp and disability claimants to measure their functional physical ability to perform work-related tasks. It’s administered by a physical therapist and may last up to six hours, spread over the course of two days.
Your workers’ comp doctor can order an FCE for you when he or she feels you have reached maximum medical improvement (i.e., your condition is not expected to improve further even with more treatment) and he or she wants to test your ability to work.
You are Given a Series of Tests
You will be given a series of tests to evaluate your overall functionality as it applies to work-related tasks. The tests may evaluate these things.
- Your musculoskeletal abilities
- How well you can handle repetitive motions
- Overall strength
- How often you can handle materials (constant, frequent, and occasional)
- How well you can perform other tasks unrelated to material-handling
Be as Truthful as Possible
Be honest during the FCE. The test administrators are trained to recognize symptom exaggeration. They will be able to tell if you’re faking or overstating your disability, so give your best effort during the evaluation.
By the same token, don’t overextend or overestimate your abilities, which can cause further injury. Also, do not take your pain medication prior to your FCE, unless your lawyer advises that it’s okay, because pain medication can mask your true abilities.
You are Allowed a Second Opinion
After the FCE, if your doctor gives you an unfair impairment rating, you are entitled to a second opinion, and the insurance company is required to pay for it.
Call Walker, Billingsley & Bair For Help With Your Workers’ Comp Case
Call our workers’ comp lawyers at (515) 440-2852.