If you’re applying for disability or have been injured on the job and are applying for workers compensation, chances are you’ll be referred for a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) as part of the process to determine eligibility
What is a Functional Capacity Evaluation?
A Functional Capacity Evaluation, or FCE is a series of tests and evaluations that are used to determine your mental and physical health status and whether you are able to meet the demands of a job. It is sometimes used to determine a person’s ability to complete daily living activities and other basic functions to determine the need of occupational therapy, assisted living or disability status.
Components of an FCE
The individual components of a Functional Capacity Evaluation will vary somewhat based on the purpose of the FCE and how it will be used. In general, a complete medical history will be requested from medical providers, outside medical experts who have evaluated you, and other medical sources you’ve provided. Letters and evaluations from current and past medical professionals, mental health professionals and employers are often considered.
The initial interview and functional testing generally take 4 to 6 hours tom complete and may be completed over the course of two days. This involves a series of physical and mental capacity tests, as well as pain monitoring. The tests are usually directly related to general working conditions as well as specific job tasks, depending on the overall purpose of the evaluation.
Functional Capacity Determination
Functional ability is determined by several factors including physical and mental abilities, other abilities such as sensory abilities and environmental restrictions, and total limiting factors combined.
- Physical Ability — Physical ability is assessed to determine both the nature and the extent of the physical limitation. This is used to determine overall mobility s well as limitations to things such as carrying and lifting, sitting, standing or walking, pulling or pushing, reaching items and other physical demands of the job.
- Mental Ability — Mental ability is first assessed to determine if the limitations and restrictions in mental capacity prevent you from working at all or on a regular and continuing basis. Mental ability assessment includes the ability to understand and remember instructions, appropriate responses to supervisor requests and the mental ability to work in a work setting with coworkers.
- Other Abilities — Additional abilities are assessed to determine vision or hearing impairments, other sensory impairments, conditions such as epilepsy or skin conditions and other factors that may require an environmental restriction in order to perform the necessary work.
- Total Limiting Factors — The total limiting factors are assessed together, whether you have a severe impairment or several less severe impairment, to determine functionality. Other things such as pain, psychological abnormalities and other factors are considered as well.
If you need help filing a workers compensation benefit, insurance claim or have been requested to have an FCE, The House of Workers Compensation is here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case.