If you have a suffered a work injury in Illinois, the best-case scenario is to receive excellent medical care and recover well enough to return to work without restrictions. Unfortunately, the process of a Worker’s Compensation claim can often be long, arduous, exhausting and just plain complicated. The capstone to the process often ends with a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE).

So what is a Functional Capacity Evaluation? The FCE is a series of tests used to evaluate your work-related physical abilities. If one has been ordered for you, it usually means that you are coming to an end of your treatment and the doctor is ready to send you back to work, with or without, restrictions depending on the FCE report.

An FCE is prescribed by a doctor.  You have the right to choose the facility where it takes place. Careful to assess injuries without causing any further damage, the evaluator will test a variety of physical performances critical to an employee’s job including:

  • Push and pull strength
  • Overall strength
  • Lifting ability
  • Flexibility
  • Stamina
  • Range of motion
  • Ability to carry objects
  • Any abilities related to the employees job

For example, if an employee’s job requires heavy labor, the evaluator will be sure to administer tests specific to their ability to lifting and carrying heavy objects, push and pull strength and range of motion.

It is very important for the employee undergoing the FCE to be very honest, consistent and specific about what he/she is able to do and what hurts. The FCE’s are only as good as the data that received.  In addition, the FCE could hurt an employee’s case if they try to exaggerate their symptoms. This could be a costly mistake as the FCE has been designed to avoid any fraud.

Following the FCE, a report will be generated. A successful FCE test report will address an employee’s functional limitations, any additional rehabilitation needed, the employee’s ability to return to work and if so what tasks they will be able/unable to perform. This report provided by your doctor will ultimately determine the next course of action.

If your injury is serious enough that a FCE is needed, you would be nuts not to have an experienced attorney in your corner.  If you would like our recommendation as to which attorney is best for your case, please complete our contact form or call us at 800-517-1614 to speak with an attorney for free.