1 min read

Workers’ Compensation 101: Functional Capacity Evaluations

Workers’ Compensation 101: Functional Capacity Evaluations

Sometimes, a worker that has been injured on the job may need to look for a new kind of work due to the effects of their injury. Such injuries can lead to permanent restrictions that limit the types of work that the worker is physically able to perform. But how does a permanently injured worker find out what their new limitations are? The answer is a Functional Capacity Evaluation, or FCE.

An FCE is a series of tests and examinations that a worker undergoes in order to determine what their exact physical capabilities are. The exam is be performed by a doctor, who starts by interviewing the individual and reviewing relevant medical records about the injury. Afterwards, the individual performs a series of activities designed to test their abilities to:

  • Lift and carry

  • Push and pull

  • Sit and stand for a continuous period

  • Walk, balance, and crawl

  • Hold unusual positions such as kneeling and stooping

  • Pinch and grasp, and overall dexterity of the hands


During the tests, the injured worker reports on factors such as the amount of pain that each activity elicits. The tests may also focus on job tasks and abilities specific to the line of work to which the injured individual wants to return. The doctor keeps tracks of the results and uses this data to make a final determination on what kind of work is appropriate for the worker.

An FCE may be used in the following types of cases:

In a typical Minnesota workers’ compensation case, the FCE will occur over the course of two days, with four to eight hours of testing each day.

The Functional Capacity Exam is an important tool in the process of injury claims. If you have permanent restrictions resulting from a work-related injury, then you will want to have an FCE so you can determine what your new abilities and limitations are.

If you have been injured in a work-related accident, it is important to seek advice from an attorney as soon as you can. Call Aaron Ferguson Law at 651-493-0426 to schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.


Get a Free Case Consultation

◄ Back to Blog Listing Page