Monday, September 27, 2010

What is a Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Functional Capacity Evaluation?

A Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) is a course of objective testing to determine your functional limitations following a work related injury. This testing typically involves an interview to determine what types of conditions you have, both work-related and non-work related, what types of treatment you’ve undergone, the type and intensity of symptoms you are experiencing, and how your symptoms impact your activities of daily living. The testing itself usually takes at least several hours, and may be conducted over the course of a couple days. The testing involves having you perform simulated work tasks such as lifting, pushing and pulling, squatting, overhead activities, and other activities relevant to your conditions.

The goal of this testing is to objectively measure your physical work limitations. Often times, this testing is done after you’ve reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI), to determine your permanent limitations. An FCE report will often list weight lifting limitations, limitations on bending, twisting, pushing, pulling, kneeling, overhead work, or limitations on sitting or standing for prolonged periods.

During the testing, you are not expected to continue to perform activities that cause you pain. However, the goal of the testing is to determine the maximum abilities you are able to perform. It is important to inform the tester when the activities you are performing cause you pain or discomfort. It is also critical that you don’t try to exaggerate your symptoms during the course of the testing. The testers are experts and will absolutely be able to tell if you are exaggerating. If you exaggerate, this will be put in writing in your FCE report. Almost nothing sinks an otherwise legitimate workers’ compensation case than an FCE report which indicates that the injured worker was exaggerating some of his or symptoms.

Your QRC will often use the results of your FCE to help define what types of work are appropriate for you, and to develop a plan to try to get you back to work within those restrictions.

For a free, no-obligation consultation regarding your Minnesota workers’ compensation case, contact Meuser & Associates at 877-746-5680 or click here to send us an email.
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