Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE)

Professionally reviewed by Charlie Eberling, PT, DPT, CWCE, TPI, Manager, Outpatient Services, on 02/27/2023.

Functional capacity evaluations (FCEs) are a combination of tests that determine whether a person is physically able to perform specific job functions. FCEs are a key part of workers’ compensation determination.

Our focus on physical medicine and rehabilitation helps injured workers recover more fully and return to work faster.

Why Are FCEs Needed?

  • Most medical evaluation processes do not include purposeful activities that represent actual work movements
  • FCEs are part of a physician’s final impairment rating — determining the subject’s musculoskeletal status
  • Most medical evaluations do not assess for effort or the presence of non-organic signs
  • FCEs determine a subject’s level of willful participation in activity

Functional Capacity Evaluation Components

  • Intake interview
  • Musculoskeletal screen
  • Cardiovascular test
  • Static strength test
  • Material-handling test
  • Non-material-handling test
  • Job-specific test
  • Debriefing

When Should FCEs Be Completed in a Rehabilitation Program?

  • After all necessary medical testing and treatment have been provided
  • Patient has reached maximum medical improvement (MMI)
  • Following a plateau in physical therapy
  • After participation in work hardening or work conditioning
  • Part of an independent medical exam (IME) process
  • Fit-for-duty evaluation
  • Existing worker requesting a transfer into a different, more demanding job

Request a Functional Capacity Evaluation

For more information or to request a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE), please call 1.888.44.REHAB (73422)  or fill out the form below.

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