At some point during your workers’ compensation case you’ll likely be asked to complete what’s know as a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE). As the name implies, a functional capacity evaluation is designed to determine your functional limits as it pertains to your work injury. This evaluation focuses more on your capacity to perform certain activities than your disability. It is typically done after a person has reached Maximum Medical Improvement to determine any permanent limitations.
Aspects of a Functional Capacity Evaluation
There are many different aspects of a functional capacity evaluation, and the test may take a couple of hours, so it is not unusual for the test to be administered in parts over the course of a couple of days. During the evaluation you will have your injury examined and you’ll be asked to perform a wide variety of duties to understand your baseline capabilities. Here’s a closer look at many of the areas you’ll be tested in during the FCE:
- Intake Exam – At the outset of the FCE, the physician and any occupational therapists will review your medical history, your general health, your normal job duties and the condition of your injury. They’ll also conduct baseline tests to understand your pain perception, and the physical and psychological impacts it has on your daily activities.
- Musculoskeletal Exam – The physician will test your strength, range of motion, and sensation in different areas of your body.
- Physical Work Tasks – Using simulated tests, the physician will observe your capabilities in work-related tests.
- Force Tests – These tests will determine your ability to exert force on an object, through pushing, pulling and lifting different objects.
- Movement Tests – These tests evaluate your ability to move and get in pre-force positions. They’ll test your ability to squat, bend, twist, climb and crouch, among other actions.
- Conditioning – Your physician will examine your aerobic capacity through stair climbing or with the assistance of a treadmill.
- Job-Specific Testing – You’ll be asked to perform tasks that simulate the specific physical demands of your job.
- Psychological Assessment – This examine is designed to compare your perceived level of capability with your actual level of capability to get a better understanding of your mindset about your work injury and your capabilities.
Once your FCE is completed, it will examined by a qualified rehabilitation consultant to help you develop a plan to return to work with your set restrictions.
If you want a clearer idea of what you’ll be tested on or how you’ll be evaluated, you can view the Functional Capacity Evaluation form by clicking here. For more information on the evaluation, or to discuss your work injury with a lawyer, contact Dean Margolis today.
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