Functional Capacity Evaluations in Chicago IL

Injuries, illnesses, and accidental deaths are rising each year due to work-related duties, and the government’s worker’s compensation system allows injured workers to file claims for benefits. If you have been injured at your place of employment, you may be required to complete an FCE, so it’s important to know what to expect from a functional capacity evaluation.

What is the Purpose of an FCE?

Both the employer and the insurance company want to be sure an injured worker is able to return to work without any further risks associated posed to them or their co-workers. Therefore, a functional capacity evaluation may be ordered by your employer, a physician, an insurance company, or even a lawyer.

A functional capacity evaluation is comprised of a series of standardized tests to assess the worker’s capacity to complete essential functions like heavy lifting, stamina, flexibility, range of motion, and any other necessary abilities to do a particular job.

Once completed, these tests will answer the following questions:

  • Can you go back to work?
  • Can you return to the same kind of job?
  • Do you need certain accommodations and/or reduced capacity duties?
  • When can you go back to work (if too soon, recovery can be compromised, re-injury can occur, or other workers can be injured)?

In addition, an FCE can settle a disagreement between the worker and employer regarding the level of any disability and the capacity of work the employee can sustain. This examination will also determine if the worker needs occupational therapy, or qualifies for additional compensation or Social Security benefits

One other purpose of a functional capacity evaluation is to reduce incidences of insurance fraud. Sadly, it is not uncommon for individuals to try and gain benefits when they are fully capable of completing their work duties.

What Happens During an FCE?

This evaluation usually takes place at the end of a physical therapy session, and is often conducted at a medical treatment center.  Individuals could be nearing a release from care and treatment following an injury, and your doctor can decide on the next steps needed prior to their return to work, or they may decide that additional therapy is needed.

The tests included in a functional capacity evaluation can take from 4 to 6 hours and may be completed over two consecutive days. These assessments will include an interview, a review of the worker’s medical records, a musculoskeletal screening, and a series of tasks to evaluate the person’s endurance and other functions for their particular job. It is of course advised that worker’s always complete the tasks to the best of their ability.

There may be additional exams related to vision, strength, agility, dexterity, and handling of materials. Depending on the job, there can be tests to determine the ability to lift, carry, push, stand, walk, sit, balance, stoop, or kneel. An FCE can also determine the person’s coordination, endurance, and other factors needed for a particular job.

The worker’s discomfort will be monitored throughout their evaluation to document any pain during various activities. Each FCE uses performance-based metrics to predict a worker’s ability to perform their specific job requirements.

Schedule your Functional Capacity Evaluation Today

Contact Premier Urgent Care if you have further questions about what to expect from an upcoming functional capacity evaluation, or if you want to make an appointment.