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What Is a Functional Capacity Evaluation?

Individuals who have suffered a work injury in Illinois may need to take a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) to determine their ability to work. This test is ordered by the individual’s physician and be used to show the impact of the individual’s injuries on their ability to perform tasks related to their job. When an FCE is requested, it is advisable to discuss the testing process with an Illinois attorney who can help guide injured workers through the various stages of the evaluation.

What Does the FCE Cover?

FCE’s are extensive and can take up to eight hours to complete. The tests include detailed evaluations of the individual’s ability to push/pull objects, the ability to lift objects, and the overall strength of the person. The evaluator will also examine the individual’s flexibility and stamina, as well as his or her range of motion. It is also common for the evaluation to include specific tests related to the individual’s job and the abilities required to perform the tasks performed prior to the injury.

When the FCE is complete, the evaluator will generate a complete report that identifies the functional limitations of the individual. The report will also include recommendations for further rehabilitative care as well as an analysis of the disability and potential ability to return to work performing the tasks they performed in the past.

Honesty = Accuracy

The FCE is a crucial document for injured workers to obtain and it is critical for injured workers to be honest and truthful with their evaluator. Honesty creates an accurate picture of the individual’s injuries. Moreover, if the individual lies or masks his or her abilities during the evaluation, the claim may be marked fraudulent. When an FCE has been requested, it is crucial to discuss the steps in the process and what can be expected with a workers’ comp attorney. The attorney can help injured workers prepare for the evaluation so they can accurately demonstrate the severity of their injuries.

Disputing Results

An unfavorable FCE is not the end result of an individual’s claim. If the FCE comes back showing no signs of impairment or disability, it is possible to question the findings. Indeed, there are a wide variety of testing techniques and these do not always show a complete and accurate picture of the individual’s physical limitations.

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