Things You Need to Know About A Functional Capacity Evaluation?
Insurance companies never want to pay their clients for longer than necessary. Therefore accident victims who get paid an Income Replacement Benefit (“IRB”) by their auto insurers, are many times requested to go for occasional health assessments, one such assessment is the Functional Capacity Evaluation (“FCE”).
FCEs are tests carried out to measure a person’s ability to function at work. During the test, an expert, (usually an occupational therapist or a kinesiologist) would assess the ability of a person to execute a chain of tasks that are work-related.
Asides trying to determine a person’s readiness to go back to work, other reasons why FCEs are sometimes requested include, getting a work ability status for vocational rehabilitation, getting workers’ compensation case settlement, knowing one’s disability status, pre-employment and post-offer employment testing. FCEs can also be used to certify whether recently graduated students or volunteers are physically fit enough to meet the demands of a new job.
Usually, the professional administering an FCE tries to find out if a person is fit enough to go back to the jobs they had before the accident or if they are fit enough to work at any other job. Insurers prefer FCE’s because the testing is considered an unbiased measurement of a person’s abilities.
When Do You Need a Functional Capacity Evaluation?
- An FCE determines an injured individual’s ability to return to their jobs or find alternative jobs post-recovery.
- A person would need to do an FCE when applying for Social Security Disability assistance.
- Individuals could get an FCE when they are ready to go back to work or partake in any tasking activities after an accident.
- Individuals could get an FCE when resuming at a new place of employment after a catastrophic accident.
- A person would need an FCE when pursuing occupational rehabilitation services
There are a lot of professionals who do not think FCEs are a reliable method of evaluating one’s capacity to work. Ontario lawyer, Najma Rashid believes that the assessment is too brief to represent a person’s actual day at work. “An FCE may not be a reliable indicator of your ability to work,” she said, “The most obvious reason is that it is simply a brief snapshot in time and does not mimic an actual workday or workweek.”Rashid is a partner at Howard Yegendorf & Associates.
What to do when asked to attend an FCE?
The first thing to do when you are asked to attend an FCE is to consult a lawyer. The lawyer would advise you on whether you could refuse to attend an FCE without repercussions. Most times, if it is your insurance company that demands an FCE from you, then you do have to go and get one.
During the FCE, you should co-operate with the professional that is administering the evaluation, however, never do this at your detriment. Do not agree to indulge in any physical activity that may cause you bodily harm. Do not exert more physical energy than recommended by your doctor. Take note of any stress you feelduring the evaluation and discuss this with your lawyer as soon as possible.
If your Income Replacement Benefits get cut off as a result of the report from your FCE, discuss this with a lawyer who would suggest possible ways to get your benefits back.