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How a Functional Capacity Evaluation Affects Workers' Compensation

Posted on in Workers' Compensation

How a Functional Capacity Evaluation Affects Workers' CompensationThere are some workplace injuries from which you may never fully recover. If your injury permanently restricts your ability to perform your job, you may qualify for long-term workers’ compensation benefits, such as Permanent Partial Disability or Permanent Total Disability. You can also receive compensation to pay for vocational training for a new career. Your employer’s insurance company will want proof that you can no longer perform your work duties. Your doctor may recommend a Functional Capacity Evaluation to determine your physical capabilities.

FCE Process

An FCE is a series of tests that attempt to simulate the physical requirements of your job. The exam mainly measures your strength, flexibility, and stamina, though some exams will also test your cognitive abilities. An FCE can take as long as eight hours, depending on the number of tests that must be performed. Common tests include:

  • Pushing and pulling;
  • Lifting;
  • Carrying;
  • Positional tolerance;
  • Range-of-motion testing; and
  • Hand dexterity testing.

The examiner will look at your ability to complete the tests and the amount of pain it causes you. Your doctor will review the FCE results and make a recommendation on whether you are capable of returning to work.

Problems with FCEs

An FCE can provide strong evidence if you claim that your disability prevents you from returning to the same job as before your injury. However, an FCE can hurt your case if it concludes that you are physically capable of returning to work without restrictions. It is important that your FCE results are accurate:

  • Explain all of the physical requirements of your job to the examiner so that he or she uses relevant tests;
  • Ask the examiner about his or her expectations from the FCE before taking it; and
  • Be honest about the pain and fatigue you feel while performing the tests.

While there may be tests that you are unable to perform, you must not exaggerate the pain or weakness you feel. The FCE may include tests that are meant to evaluate your honesty. For instance, the examiner may ask you to lift two objects that look like they are different weights but actually weigh the same. Not putting full effort into each test implies that you are faking the severity of your injury.

Contact a Crystal Lake Workers’ Compensation Attorney

An FCE cannot fully simulate the physical demands of your job. Your doctor may clear you to return to work, only for you to learn that you cannot perform your job requirements. A McHenry County workers’ compensation attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can help you file for permanent disability benefits. To schedule a free consultation, call 815-338-3838.



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