Things To Know Before Completing Your FCE Test

Albert Howard

Updated on:

Things To Know Before Completing Your FCE Test

Workers in the healthcare industry, transportation industry, retail industry, and construction industry are among the most at risk for workplace injuries and need workers’ compensation to recover from such injuries. However, people of all occupations may get injured while on their job. Back injuries, slip-and-fall accidents, and other work-related injuries happen to workers of all ages and backgrounds all the time, so workers’ compensation claims are something most people will have to deal with at some point.

When filing for workers’ compensation, a functional capacity evaluation exam is mandatory. So, you might wonder what is it and what does it include?

What Is An FCE Exam?

A functional capacity evaluation, or FCE, is a test that the injured worker must undergo in a workers’ compensation lawsuit. The doctor who is treating the patient is usually the one to request this evaluation. A lawyer, employer, insurance company, or any other third party may also request an FCE. 

What Happens During A FCE Test?

An FCE test is performed in a medical facility, such as a physical therapy center, by the certified healthcare provider who received the referral. This might be a doctor, physical therapist, or athletic trainer. It takes two to three hours to complete the test. 

Always dress comfortably so that movement is not restricted. You’ll also require to bring your prescription medicines and any necessary mobility devices.

The doctor will be familiar with your profession, essential duties, and injury diagnosis when you come. Additionally, they will be aware of any physical therapy you may have had. The doctor will assess a number of your physical abilities during the evaluation, including the following:

  • Functional Testing: You will be put through a series of physical assessments that involve lifting, pushing, tugging, and carrying objects.
  • Dexterity: The medical expert will assess your physical ability to perform tasks including crawling, bending, sitting, standing, reaching, and balancing.
  • Injury testing: The doctor will compare the strength and range of motion of your muscles in the areas where you have injuries to your pre-injury physical condition as recorded in your medical records.

What If You Fail Your FCE Test?

The examination team will compile your results after the test is over and send them to your doctor. After that, they can give their approval for the results and any suggested limitations on working hours.

To fully understand what will be expected of you when you return to work, be sure to carefully read the restrictions. Never hesitate to ask your doctor any questions you may have. If the examiner concludes that you are unable to perform duties necessary for the work you conducted before your accident, you might conclude that you “failed” your FCE test.

It’s possible that the examination report contains restrictions so severe that you won’t be able to return to work at all and will instead need to apply for total disability. Learn about your 

However, if you are unsatisfied with the report, you will have the choice to challenge the FCE test results. This can require you to retake the test or seek assistance from a workers’ compensation attorney.


An FCE is requested so that a medical report can objectively explain what areas of work the injured worker can and cannot perform. It is executed for your own benefit and thus, you do not need to feel stressed or panicked about the evaluation.