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Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE)
Home Services Worker’s Compensation Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE)
by Us3eNumb3rZERO

Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE)

Regional Experts in Fit-for-Duty Testing

A functional capacity evaluation (FCE — also called a “fit for duty” test) is an assessment that measures an individual’s ability to perform a particular job.

You may be applying for a new job or getting ready to return to work after an injury. Or you may be an employer looking to ensure the fitness of your workforce. In either case, you can benefit from a functional capacity evaluation. which helps protect employers, employees, patrons, and the overall safety of your workplace.

JAG-ONE Physical Therapy is here to complete the evaluation you need. Our certified therapists have performed FCEs for professionals throughout New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, for a wide variety of job positions and industries.

To schedule an FCE, or to learn more about getting FCEs for your workforce, find a JAG-ONE PT location near you or contact us today.

We can help if you are seeking services on your own, or if you were referred by a(n):

  • Employer
  • Doctor
  • Insurance provider
  • Attorney
  • Case manager
  • Another healthcare provider

What is a Functional Capacity Evaluation?

Healthcare professionals use functional capacity evaluations to assess your ability to start a new job or return to work following a significant event, like a debilitating injury or illness. To make this assessment, the FCE will measure your overall ability to complete specific daily living and work-related tasks.

These evaluations are performed by licensed healthcare providers, including physical therapists, physicians, and occupational therapists. However, not every physical therapist or medical provider will be able to conduct the FCE you need. You should seek a provider who has experience evaluating patients in circumstances similar to yours.

Professionals may request a functional capacity evaluation for various reasons, including:

  • Your job entails high physical, mental, or emotional stress
  • Your lawyer needs to present the information in the FCE as evidence
  • An insurance company needs to assess your disability or workers' compensation claim
  • To determine your rehabilitation needs and timetable for returning to work

Do I need a Functional Capacity Evaluation?

You may benefit from completing a functional capacity evaluation if any of the following applies to you:

  • You have applied for a job that requires a pre-employment FCE.
  • You were injured while working and you plan to return to work.
  • You were injured in an accident unrelated to work, and the injury affects your ability to do the job.
  • You are seeking vocational rehabilitation services.
  • You are disabled and are applying to receive Social Security Disability benefits.

Also, an FCE can help determine the skills of students transitioning to the work setting, especially in specific industries.

Components of an FCE

Which Physical Abilities are Measured

Functional capacity evaluations differ depending on the reason you need the assessment.
At JAG-ONE PT, we start by understanding exactly what your needs and circumstances are. Then we can start designing a certified FCE to test your physical and cognitive ability, with evaluations specific to your job functions and their corresponding demands.

Your FCE may also focus on documenting pain levels and how well you managed pain throughout the assessment. With this, the FCE compares your health and body functions to the demands of job expectations and the work environment.

Physical ability tests can include activities such as:

  • Sitting and standing to assess positional tolerance
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying to evaluate physical strength
  • Walking, climbing, or running to assess mobility

In addition, FCEs measure and document an individual’s flexibility, coordination, balance, and cardio conditioning.

The comprehensive report of your completed FCE will summarize:

  • Physical ability as it relates to specific job duties
  • Consistency in performance and overall effort
  • Employment match information
  • Cognitive skills specific to job demands
  • Treatment recommendations

The completion of a functional capacity evaluation can take several hours, and you should wear comfortable clothing. Contact us to ask about the timeframe specific to the FCE you need.

Purpose and Benefits of Functional Capacity Evaluations

Functional capacity evaluations serve many different purposes. The primary reasons for FCEs are to determine:

  • Your goals for rehabilitation and discharge planning
  • Your ability to safely return to work
  • Your qualification for vocational rehab
  • Settlement of workers' compensation claims
  • Your ability to meet the demands of a specific job

FCEs vs. Work Hardening

FCEs are not to be confused with work hardening. Work conditioning or work hardening are specific therapeutic interventions focused on helping patients regain adequate physical functioning to get back to work.

In contrast, an FCE is strictly an evaluation to determine readiness to return to work.

Get FCE Testing in NJ, NY & PA, with JAG-ONE PT

At JAG-ONE Physical Therapy, our experts are qualified to administer FCE Testing to anyone who needs it. It’s important that a well-trained and experienced professional performs your FCE, and at JAG-ONE PT, our team has helped employers and employees across a wide variety of professions.

We’re here to help you get back to work and get back the life you love.

If you need a Functional Capacity Evaluation in NJ, NY, or PA, schedule an appointment here. To find out more about JAG-ONE Physical Therapy and other services we offer, visit one of our 100 locations near you or contact us today.