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What is a Functional Capacity Evaluation

  • Published: 2010-09-24 (Revised/Updated 2016-03-20) : Disability Attorneys Dell & Schaefer (
  • Synopsis: A Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) are tests you will be put through to see what your physical capabilities are with regard to work.

Main Document

Quote: "A Functional capacity evaluation can yield beneficial evidence of a disability, but at the same time they can also hurt your disability claim."

Many disability claimants ask what is a Functional Capacity Evaluation is and how will attending an FCE affect my claim for disability benefits

A Functional Capacity Evaluation (also known as a Functional Capacity Exam or FCE) is a battery of tests that you will be put through to see what your physical capabilities are with regard to work.

The results of the FCE are normally weighed against the Department of Labor and the dictionary definition of occupational title standards of sedentary, light, medium and heavy.

Attending an FCE can be a double-edge sword for a claimant.

The results may indicate that there's nothing wrong with you or, on the flip-side, may say that this person can't even work at a sedentary level. There are as many ways of having an FCE performed as there are different types of functional capacity evaluations.

What if you have previously undergone a functional capacity evaluation

Insurance companies are always very quick to try to point out that the FCE you previously attended was insufficient, it was unreliable and that the functional capacity evaluation that they would have you attend with a doctor of their choosing, is superior.

A Functional capacity evaluation can yield beneficial evidence of a disability, but at the same time they can also hurt your disability claim.

Like statistics, the results of an FCE can be interpreted in various ways, so it's very important to know all of your options before attending a functional capacity evaluation.

If you have any questions concerning functional capacity exams, if your disability insurance company or treating doctor wants to send you to one, or you have a question about your own disability claim, please contact Attorneys Dell & Schaefer and we can discuss what your options are, what your possibilities are, and what you might be able to expect.

Information supplied by who can assist you with answers on any disability claim questions you may have.

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