What Is A Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) in North Carolina Workers' Compensation?

North Carolina employees who have been injured at work and are receiving Workers’ Compensation will ultimately be placed at “maximum medical improvement” by the treating physician.

Maximum medical improvement is essentially the conclusion of your medical care. It’s when the medical professionals have deemed your injuries are “as good as they’re going to get.

However, this doesn’t always mean that the injured employee is physically 100% whole again and can perform at the same capacity as they were able to before the on-the-job injury.

A medical professional can determine if an individual has arrived at maximum medical improvement and assign a permanent partial disability rating. They may also question whether or not the injured worker has permanent restrictions.

The most common form of test used in North Carolina workers’ compensation claims to determine if an injured employee has permanent restrictions and precisely what those restrictions are is the Functional Capacity Evaluation or (FCE).

Generally, a functional capacity evaluation is a one-day test that will take several hours for the injured employee to complete.

After completing the functional capacity evaluation, the results will be sent to their treating physician. At this point, the treating physician will either place permanent restrictions on the injured employee or determine that the functional capacity evaluation results didn’t provide enough information for a permanent restriction assignment.

If you have been recommended for a functional capacity evaluation, or if your treating physician has indicated that they don’t think it gives an accurate position of where you stand medically, or if you question the functional capacity evaluation yourself, contact Hardison & Cochran today.