• Are Functional Capacity Exams (FCE) in Long Term Disability Claims Good or Bad?Are Functional Capacity Exams (FCE) in Long Term Disability Claims Good or Bad?

What is a Functional Capacity Exam (FCE) and should I go to a FCE?

Disability attorney Stephen Jessup discusses what a functional capacity exam is and if a disability claimant should attend a FCE.

A Functional Capacity Evaluation or Exam or an FCE is a test that’s a battery of tests that you will be put through to see what your physical capabilities are with regard to work. Usually, it’s going to be weighed against the typical Department of Labor and Dictionary of Occupational title standards of sedentary, light, medium, heavy. Going to FCEs can be a double-edge sword. It could come up that there’s nothing wrong with you or, on the flipside, you may have something where it says, “Listen, this person can’t even work at a sedentary level.” And there’s many ways of having them performed; there’s different types.

Insurance companies are always very quick to try to point out that the one you had wasn’t sufficient, it’s unreliable, that theirs is better. So there’s a lot that goes into giving an FCE. FCEs can be wonderful, wonderful evidence of disability, but at the same time can also hurt you. And like statistics, it can be used any which way you want to do it, so it’s very important to know what all your options are before going to have an FCE.

If you have any questions, if the insurance company wants to send you to one, or you have a question about your own claim and possibly your doctor’s even referring you to one, or if your doctor is suggesting you undergo have an FCE, give us a call and we can discuss what your options are, what your possibilities are, and what you might be able to expect.

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There are 64 comments

  • Lisa, do you have a private disability insurance policy? If so who is the carrier? We can help with private policies but we don’t handle SSDI.

    Rachel AltersJun 24, 2020  #64

  • I have severe back pain and getting ready to do a stimulus trial on my back and if it does good they’re going to put the whole thing in my back and also have rheumatoid arthritis. I was diagnosed with a couple weeks ago, my primary caregiver sent me up to see a specialist. I’m waiting on that but I am in so much pain, I can hardly bend down to get anything, I move around and I don’t know how to go about getting disability, so could you give me any pointers on how to do so and where are you located. I live in Butler, Georgia.

    LisaJun 24, 2020  #63

  • Don, I am sorry to hear all that you are going through. If your claim is a short term or long term disability insurance claim, please free to contact us for a free consultation.

    Alex PalamaraMar 15, 2020  #62

  • I’m a 50ty year old male and I was injured on my job in 2017 of October. I’ve been to a chiropractor and I’ve been to a therapist twice. I’ve had 3 MRI and two nerve conductor test and I’ve had a operation in 2019 for herniated disk that was sitting on a nerve. I now have nerve damage and piriformis syndrome more so on my right side. I’ve taken a FCE test and they gave me a 10% impairment rating. I’m on gabapentine and celecoxib and they said I can do medium to heavy work even thou I’m still hurting with leg and back pain. I was injured because the supervisor ask me to work with the contractors that was working on a old machine that was not kept up to part. I have a lawyer but they act like there’s nothing much that I can do.

    DonMar 15, 2020  #61

  • Jean: Are you collecting a disability benefit? Why did you have the first FCE done? Who ordered it? And for what reason do you feel you may need/want an updated FCE moving forward?

    Jay SymondsDec 8, 2019  #60

  • Knee I hurt 2 years ago. ACL surgery done 1 1/ 2 years ago, still not working. Had a FCE test done 7 months ago, have had a procedure done 3 months ago, should another FCE be done, I am a little worse since procedure was done. The outcome e could be Jean different? I have severe nerve damage.

    JEANDec 8, 2019  #59

  • Cecilia: There are many ways to address the reliability and validity of an FCE performed at the request of a carrier. I suggest you contact our office and speak with one of the attorneys to address the specific questions you have regarding your situation.

    Jay SymondsOct 31, 2019  #58

  • Are FCE reliable? I had one done and it showed light duty. My LTD carrier declined my case. What options do I have?

    Cecilia T.Oct 31, 2019  #57

  • Nancy, the carrier is typically allowed, so long as it is reasonable, to request that you attend an FCE or other examination. That said, there are several ways you can protect yourself when attending an FCE. I suggest you contact our office and speak with one of the attorneys to address the specific questions you have regarding your situation.

    Jay SymondsApr 17, 2019  #56

  • I have been disabled for 7 years now and on long term disability and social security disability. I have degenerative disc disease with other diagnoses severe headaches which was caused by CT mylogram in which the radiologist punctured my spine causing a spinal leak and then contacting chemical meningitis from a blood patch procedure done to patch the puncture. I have had surgery on my L4/5 level and C4 level and still might need more surgery.

    My long term insurance company is sending me to have. Functional Capacity Test, is this something that I have to do? I’m worried that it will make my chronic pain worse and don’t know what or how they will evaluate the chronic headaches which is pretty much 24/7. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    NancyApr 17, 2019  #55

  • Hannah, I am sorry but I do not specialize in workers comp. Our firm is specialized in private disability claims. I would advise you contact a workers comp attorney.

    Rachel AltersDec 20, 2018  #54

  • I had one FCE done referral from the workers compensation doctor and it stated that I am unable to do my job and that I have a 24% whole body impairment. Now the workers compensation doctor is sending me to another FCE tomorrow. Why? How will that impact my case if the 2nd FCE results are bad? I hurt my right knee and it won’t extend out all the way and also I work in a warehouse doing shipping and receiving. I walk with a cane and have a limp.

    HannahDec 19, 2018  #53

  • Wanda, I am sorry to hear that you are injured. It sounds like you need to make a workers comp claim as well as a short term disability claim.

    Rachel AltersSep 12, 2018  #52

  • Hello,
    I was injured on my job torn rotator cuff and hair fracture in elbow. A filing cabinet fell on my right arm. I had surgery to repair my rotator cuff and 4 months of physical therapy. I still have pain in my shoulder and back, and can not put my right hand to my back. I am going to take the test to see if I can still work on my job. I am on light duty now.

    Wanda G.Sep 11, 2018  #51

  • Tammy, I am sorry to hear about your condition and inability to work. If you have a short term and/or long term disability policy I would ask your employer for an application so you can apply for benefits. Also you will need to file a workers comp claim since you were injured on the job. You should speak to HR at work and find out what you need to do.

    Rachel AltersJun 27, 2018  #50

  • Received ACDF surgery in 11/2017 and returned to work in 5/2018 after STD and was cleared by ortho doctor. Approximately one month or less was injured again, this time at work, hurting my neck causing pain, weakness, and numbness to right side. I am currently on light duty restrictions. My job requires heavy lifting however at this time I can barely pick up a gallon of milk. I am constantly in pain and right arm is very weak and heavy, I have headaches all the time, and even driving is painful, which also happens to be a big part of my job. I am waiting on PT clearance and the FCT. If I am unable to due the job I was hired for, what happens next? I am 50 years of age and I already know that I will not be able to function at the level of capacity required for my job due to this injury. Just not sure what to expect or not expect. I know that if I can not do the job, they will fire me.

    TammyJun 26, 2018  #49

  • Danna, what context was the FCE performed – a disability insurance claim/worker’s compensation? Was it a test of your choosing or were you required to go? I am not sure what your exact reference to “5 hours” is as the fact pattern does not reference a 5 hour time period. From the lifting results you indicate that would place you below sedentary ability for purposes of the Department of Labor’s classification of same. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your situation so we can best assess your situation and address your concerns.

    Stephen JessupMar 20, 2018  #48

  • I had an FCE and was unable to lift 6 lbs from the floor up to chair or desk level, or chair to desk level even once. I could not lift 6 lbs above shoulder height, or even to shoulder height. Everything was done with difficulty and a great deal of pain, and my balance was rated not at all, yet the summation assesses me as able to work five hours a day. I am greatly confused as how to interpret and argue my case with this or understood if this helps or hurts me. Additionally, the summation of my capabilities lists me as able to lift all the weights we stopped at as occasionally, yet the details explain that I was not able to complete the task. For example, listed at 8.2 occasionally for above shoulders in chart, but details relate I was only able to get 6 lbs. to 36″. I believe the tester screwed up in that instance. I could carry only 2 lbs. in left, hanging at side, and 4.2 in right. I should have had the upper body test, but the full-body was done (probably my doctor’s fault). I have significant spasticity in my hands. The test did note one of my hands at firm grasp – not at all, simple grasp – occasionally, and fine grasp – occasionally. My other hand could do all frequently according to squeezing a device three different times.

    The test lasted 3 hours, I had to take pain meds mid-way (not recorded, nor did he record the times I had to rest), and by the end I reported “hurt in back and burning in feet and hands” (neuropathy). I was literally in tears by the end at the severity of the pain, though this was not noted.

    This is a quick summary, but at a glance, can you tell me whether the reported pain changes or affects the computer conclusion of 5 hours? Does the 5 hours hurt me? Thank you.

    DannaMar 19, 2018  #47

  • Joane,

    While the policy likely allows them to have you attend the FCE, it appears unreasonable for them to make you travel 2 hours each way for the exam. You likely need to contact them and let them know that the facility they chose is 2 hours away and that your doctor has ordered you not to be in a car that long because of the risk of blood clots. It is likely best to also provide them a doctor’s note indicating such. Should you have an issues with this, please contact us so that we can assist you.

    Alex PalamaraFeb 7, 2018  #46

  • I was approved for LTD by Hartford Insurance company but I never received a official approve through date.

    I have only been on for three months. I just received a call from Hartford stating they have set up a appointment for my with a Dr that is located in a Court House in a different state, and it is two hours away from where I live for a Functional Capacity medical exam. Now I am scheduled for a medical procedure several days before this appointment along with orders from my Doctors to not be in a car that long because risk of blood clots…. Is it reasonable for me to request they find a Doctor in my state and closer to me to perform this exam so I am not in the car that long since it goes against my Doctors orders and do they have to comply?

    JoaneFeb 7, 2018  #45

  • Angela, refusing to attempt exercises could negatively impact the outcome of the FCE. I have seen instances where failure to perform has rendered a test invalid and then an insurance company uses the invalid test to imply someone has greater physical ability than they are reporting. Is your disability insurance carrier sending you to one, or is the test of your own choosing?

    Stephen JessupFeb 4, 2018  #44

  • I’m going for my second FCE. It has been over a year since my last one which had me at sedentary. My symptoms have improved somewhat, but I haven’t been released by the doctor to full duty. Still very restricted. My question is, during the FCE do I exceed the restrictions set by the doctor to complete the test or can I refuse some tasks that would violate those restrictions. Thanks!

    Angela J.Feb 3, 2018  #43

  • TLG, unfortunately, we only handle claims under private and employer provided disability insurance policies so we would not be suited for assisting you with the Police Pension Board. I would suggest looking for an employment/labor attorney to potentially point you in the right direction. Additionally, if you were a member of a union you may have the ability to get legal assistance through the union.

    Stephen JessupOct 24, 2017  #42

  • I was a police officer injured in the line of duty had a failed spinal fusion am on 70 mg of narcotics a day and have a spinal simulator. I have been on duty disability for 5 years following a unanimous decision by our Police Pension Board. Now over 5 years later the crazy Pension board doctor seems to think I have miraculously healed and has said he thinks I can go work limited duty and he is sending me for an FCE test. It should be noted I was already worming in a limited duty status when my disability was approved. (I question his sanity when you consider the amount of narcotics I am on and he want to put a gun back in my hand) any way I know this FCE test is going to exacerbate my already aching back and these Physical therapist won’t be in my home hours after I take the test to watch as I wince from the shooting pain that will travel down my leg or there the next morning when my husband has to help me out of bed because I can not get up on my own due to the pain.

    I struggle these days to mop our floors without suffering in extreme pain the next day. How can these tests accurately test your condition? Just because one has chronic pain it does not mean they can not lift things, but the truth is they should not. I am told they will know if I am not trying and report that too so whats the answer, I have no intentions of doing something to hurt myself, but it appears I will be punished for protecting myself. I’ve already been told I better lawyer up because they have gone after everyone with back injuries and forced many back to work, but finding a lawyer that can help seems near impossible.

    TLGOct 23, 2017  #41

  • Matt, please feel free to contact our office to discuss your claim. The timing of the FCE and your appointment seems to be more than coincidence, especially if the carrier knew you would be having the injection.

    Stephen JessupAug 15, 2017  #40

  • The insurance company has scheduled my FCE conveniently close to my second injection date. This has me concerned because of the numbing agent involved with the injection. If it were up to me I would go today as I am in quite a bit of pain.

    Do you think it was intentionally scheduled closely following the injection date? Also I am going to need representation for my disability benefits. Thank you.

    – kind regards

    MattAug 12, 2017  #39

  • MeB, we do not handle worker’s compensation claims. As such you will need to contact an attorney that does to best answer your question.

    Stephen JessupAug 3, 2017  #38

  • I’m a teacher injured at school last fall, resulting in C5/6 herniation. Have had mri, nerve conduction test which came back normal, and pt. Still have arm/hand issues, and now worker’s comp orthopedic doctor is requesting this test. Not sure what to do, as he told me at this point my options are deciding on surgery (which he does not recommend as there’s “no guarantees”), or to complete this test. Have spoken to a worker’s comp attorney previously for consultation when first injured, but not since. Am I required to do this? My issues are arm/hand concerns with typical teacher work environment, extensive writing and typing, etc. Thanks for response.

    MeBAug 1, 2017  #37

  • D.Watts, as it relates to the actual testing, it will most likely be very similar, if not the same. The only difference may be your performance in light of your current medical status.

    Stephen JessupJun 6, 2017  #36

  • This will not be my first fce , I’d had mulitple surgeries on my knee from a fall at work ,my job has already asked my to retaire so this is not about being able to go back to work , what can I expect that might be different this time ?

    D.wattsJun 5, 2017  #35

  • Joel, unfortunately, we do not handle worker’s compensation claims so you will need to consult with an attorney that handles them – specifically for federal employees to determine what your obligations to perform the FCE may be.

    Stephen JessupMar 8, 2017  #34

  • I am a federal employee that had an on the job injury, took 6 months to get surgery, afterwards went to PT, 3 months later, Dr. has determined that I have reached my MAIN, statinf I have permanent restrictions and is also referring me to have an FCE, he filled out the forms at his office but still wants the FCE, do I have to have this FCE done mandatory, or does my employer has to accept the final determination of my Orthopedic Dr.?

    JoelMar 7, 2017  #33

  • Jimmy, if you are not able to perform an task it is best to advise whoever is administering the testing.

    Stephen JessupMar 6, 2017  #32

  • I had a second back surgery due to first one failing, ( only fused on one side) screws were coming out. Second surgeon said he put in larger screws and did both sides at L4- S1 as well as cleaned up disc at the L3L4 level… Dr recently suggested me doing a work gardening then an FCE. What happens if I am unable to do task at work hardening??

    JimmyMar 3, 2017  #31

  • Tracey, it sounds like yours is a claim for SSDI benefits, as such I would advise you to speak to your SSDI attorney as we do not handle SSDI claims and would not be in the position to best advise you.

    Stephen JessupDec 29, 2016  #30

  • I’m scheduled for a FCE in January. I’m in the phase of my disability appeal waiting for a hearing date. My PCP has known me for 20 years. She knows that I have good and bad days. I would probably be able to do whatever they want me to during the test but then won’t be able to function or get out of bed the next day. This is how I lost my job. One step forward, two steps back. I’ve been dealing with major depression, anxiety and PTSD for years. Then this physical stuff started which has caused severe fatigue, pain after any physical exertion, brain fog, and more. I’m worried that this test will not show this. I’d hope that my record of work my whole life would be considered too. Thanks

    TraceyDec 23, 2016  #29

  • JohnM, FCEs can be valuable in assessing physical ability, but it would not by its nature verify nerve pain- merely how the symptoms of your condition would impact your physical ability for work. If you would like to discuss representation as it relates to your LTD claim please feel free to contact out our office.

    Stephen JessupDec 20, 2016  #28

  • I led a very clean life full of exercise but still got GIST Stage 3A Cancer and related partial gastric resection surgery and cytotoxic Chemotherapy poisons destroyed my health. The Chemo poisons and B12 mal-absorbtion caused by Gastric stomach resection caused me 47 known side effects plus at least 52 known ailments, including chronic pain and spreading Neurological damage plus Cognitive impairment but tests to confirm that damage are not precise and neurology is not an exact science (saw 26 doctors and 4 neurologists since 4Q2012). MRI of spine shows cervical stenosis and spines pressing on root nerves but LTD insurance provider is pushing for FCE and stopped my LIWOP. I don’t think FCE will verify my nerve damage and not encouraged by what I’ve read, so what is your thought? My pain overwhelms me most days and is worse at night as chronic Intractable Skeletal Muscular Spasticity destroys my sleep as it crushes my spine and ribs into lungs every night but I don’t have types of physical damage those in accidents would have so not sure FCE would help me. My nerve damage causes me to lose muscle control and immune system damage causes me to get things like flu, chronic Bronchitis and Walking Pneumonia 3-5 weeks straight every year since cytoxic Chemo but I still look OK as i wait for Cancer with 90% recurrence and 80% 5 yr death rate to take me out. I want to prevent insurance from stopping my LTD and be able to sue if they do so as my health issues make just getting out of bed, sitting or walking difficult and no way I can ever work again especially since I need weekly Methyl-B12 injections to fight Dementia plus weekly DT massage and Chiropractic Heat Electrostim CT treatments to function at all.

    JohnMDec 16, 2016  #27

  • Susan, unfortunately, we do not handle Worker’s Compensation cases so we would not be able to offer any assistance.

    Stephen JessupDec 2, 2016  #26

  • Ron, your doctor is sending you for the FCE? Is this a worker’s compensation doctor? If your treatment is under a worker’s compensation claim you would need to consult with an attorney that handles same to better understand your obligations. If you are unable to perform the duties of your occupation you could also explore the possibility of filing a claim for disability benefits under your department’s disability insurance policy (if applicable)

    Stephen JessupDec 2, 2016  #25

  • Workmans comp and Dept of labor are making me have it. I just got done with the 2nd day. He determined that I have a 10lb limit with both arms and 5lb limit individually. I also can’t work above my shoulder with my left arm. This has been a complete fight since the beginning because I work for the Post Office. There isn’t a single lawyer in Illinois that will help me so I go thru everything. Had an arthrogram MRI a couple months ago that determined I have a degenerative shoulder but I still have been made to do test after test.

    Susan P.Nov 30, 2016  #24

  • I am a police officer and was in an accident while on duty. I fractured my right wrist and had a screw put in..this was back in March 2016, and ever since the surgery my hand Hurst worse than before. I explained this to my doctor and he stated that it was portion of my bone is rubbing together and gave me two steroid shots…that worked for about a week and I went back and explained to him that my hand doesn’t feel right and i dont want to put myself,fellow officers or community in danger if something should arise. He now is sending me to an FCE……should I go….

    RonNov 30, 2016  #23

  • Susan, the examiner will likely have you attempt a wide range of tests that may go beyond 5lbs. Who is sending you to the FCE? A disability insurance carrier? Your doctor?

    Stephen JessupNov 17, 2016  #22

  • I am scheduled for an FCE. I have a degenerative shoulder and had surgery 6years ago. My dr and my surgeon have put me inya 5lb permanent restriction. Can they push me past the 5lb restrictions?

    Susan P.Nov 17, 2016  #21

  • Neicey, FCE’s are typically reliable in determining one’s physical capacity. That being said, it is by no means foolproof. As we only handle claims for short and long term disability benefits under disability insurance policies, I would recommend you contact a worker’s compensation attorney to discuss your situation/case further.

    Stephen JessupSep 22, 2016  #20

  • I injured my knee at work back in October of last year. I received physical therapy for 3 months before being sent for a MRI …results stated I had a torn meniscus. I received a cortisone injection to determine if surgery could be prevented. The injection didn’t help and I had the surgery a month later. After another 6 months of physical therapy and 2 more cortisone injections. I was told that nothing else could be done for me. My doctor listed activities that I am unable to perform after trying to contact him by phone I wrote him to tell him I wasn’t able to perform some of the duties he stated I could. After speaking with my liaison for my job’s insurance company, it has been determined that they would send me for a Functional Capacity Eval. I can no longer fully squat, kneel, pivot, climb stairs or ladder, lift anything over 15 lbs without causing pain or swelling. Is this something I can trust to be accurate.

    NeiceySep 21, 2016  #19

  • Jane, this is certainly something you need to discuss with your doctor as the FCE is physical and could result in injury.

    Stephen JessupApr 19, 2016  #18

  • Diagnosed with critical stenosis and told I would become paralyzed from waist down without multiple fusion. New doctor at work says need FCE. Is there risk of damage from doing theirtest with broken vertebrae & what the surgeon called “critical “critical stenosis.”

    Jane DoeApr 16, 2016  #17

  • Allison, if the FCE indicates restrictions and limitations that would prevent you from performing the duties of your occupation, then it would be strong evidence in supporting a claim for disability under your employer policy or the SSA.

    Stephen JessupMar 22, 2016  #16

  • Edward, do you have a disability insurance policy through an employer? If so you will need to see if it provides partial disability benefits. If you do not have an employer provided or private disability coverage your only option may be for Social Security Disability if you are eligible for same. You would need to contact a SSDI attorney though to determine work /income rights under the SSA guidelines.

    Stephen JessupMar 21, 2016  #15

  • I have been recently diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. My primary is sending me for an FCE on April 4th. I am currently still working full time, my employer has me on FMLA and ADA. My biggest concerns are what they will be testing for as I have trouble walking up/down stairs without severe pain. Walking long distances I have to stop and rest. I cannot lift my right arm above my head without severe pain and my joint sublaxing. My hips/right thumb are sublaxing often as well. I am going through a battery of tests including genetic testing and with a heart specialist. Originally I asked if my primary would sign a form for me to obtain a handicap hand tag, this is when he scheduled me with the FCE. What if they determine I am more than temporarily disabled, would this help with applying for long term disability through my employer or SSI?

    AllisonMar 18, 2016  #14

  • Hello, so I’ve been dealing with chronic back pain for years now, as of recently I’ve had 3 separate procedures ranging over a 5 month span and have seen zero relief of pain. In fact my pain has worsened over the course of my pain management treatment. I’m on restricted duty and the doc had ordered an FCE to determine my permanent restrictions. If the results (if showing a percentage loss use of my lower back) come back with a permanent loss use, will that be the start to being on some type of disability for an undetermined amount of time? Is that thru my jobs insurance or SSI? I’ve had MRI and xray showing damage in my L3 L4 and L5 S-1 vertebrae. As well as moderate herniated lower dics and sciatic nerve damage along with arthritis. Mind you I am only 27 going on 28 years old at time of this post.. Will being on permanent restrictions not allow me to make a certain amount of money a year? Or how is that determined? I have a family and a mortgage to support and pay.. I don’t know what to expect. I am clearly damaged and in constant pain but I need to work to live. Will I be able to work with restrictions and be partial disability payments? Thank you so much.

    EdwardMar 18, 2016  #13

  • di,

    Unfortunately, we would not be able to know if the medication would affect the test results. When is the FCE scheduled for and who is your disability insurance carrier?

    Stephen JessupJul 14, 2015  #12

  • The insurance company want me to do a functional capacity assessment as I have had a shoulder injury which was done moving heavy item at work. It has gone into a secondary condition frozen shoulder which I have now had for nearly two years. I was doing restricted duties but I could not keep it up and have now been off work for 3 months in which time they have had me job searching and stopping and starting my physio. The job search person who works for interact injury management has now asked for this assessment I could not attend job trials that where over an hours driving and it set off the pain in shoulder blade, top of arm and up neck giving me headaches I get excused very quickly. I am taking Ritalin for add, valium for anxiety and panic and also taking endep everyday. I am wondering if these will affect my tests they give me.

    diJul 13, 2015  #11

  • Kat,

    If your employer provides Short Term Disability insurance you may be able to make a claim for benefits until you are cleared for work.

    Stephen JessupJul 2, 2015  #10

  • I have been having chronic back pain for over 10 yrs. Now it seems to be getting worst. My Doctor put me on restrictions from my job. Now my job needs them to fill out some fmla paper work. But I requested that she allows me to get off restrictions and allow me to return to work. Since I am on leave with out pay. My job said the restrictions that my doctor put me on is basically my whole job. So now my doctor wants me to go do a fce test before she will sign the papers. It is about a month or two wait before I can get in to do the fce test. What should I do? I need to continue to work to take care of home. I have been dealing with the pain for years and I will continue if she allows me to. I don’t want a test that can cause more problems. I had a M.I.r. done and a xray on my back and it came back negative. Help me please.

    KatJul 1, 2015  #9

  • Lisa,

    A functional capacity evaluation tests your overall physical functional ability for work, which would take into account lower extremity weakness.

    Stephen JessupApr 16, 2015  #8

  • I have Cauda Equina Syndrome as a result of a work related injury. I have bowel and bladder regimes like a paraplegic and weakness in my lower legs with numbness. Also sitting causes numbness to exacerbate and I get numb from the waist down on the backside. I am suffering depression from this. Will this test include those types of injury?

    LisaApr 15, 2015  #7

  • Lola,

    The testing is generalized in nature and does not typically replicate any one occupation. Is your insurance carrier requiring the testing as part of its review?

    Stephen JessupSep 6, 2014  #6

  • Will the test be performed based on the job I was doing? I am being investigated by my Dr. for a serious nerve condition, and the wait list for the specialist is 8+ months. I worked as a custodian and was wondering if they base their testing on previous work performed.

    LolaSep 5, 2014  #5

  • Grace,

    When it comes to filling out forms detailing a patient’s physical functional abilities, it is not uncommon that a doctor will want an FCE to document the level of restrictions and limitations so they can then in turn complete the form. If you are not satisfied with the level of care you receive from your doctor then you have the right to seek new treatment.

    Stephen JessupFeb 27, 2014  #4

  • I have been totally disabled for over twelve years. The new physician I have is now wanting me to take a FCE test which I have had several times and was not sufficient enough. The test is not being required by my employer or by SSI, so I don’t want to open up a can of worms. I feel this doctor wants to hurt me because my employer long term disability wants a form filled out maybe once a year. Is she still disabled if yes please indicate that on this form. That’s what a doctor is supposed to do if he is my pain management physician. I feel he is now trying to throw me under under a bus. What can I do the test will cost me $540.00 and I’m on a fixed income. My employer nor SSI will pay for it. What can I do?

    GraceFeb 26, 2014  #3

  • Doug,

    Unfortunately, it is legal for the insurance company to send you for an examination performed by a medical professional of their choosing. You could consider having an FCE performed by your doctor, or someone recommended by your doctor, as a way to protect yourself from the insurance company’s examiner writing a report to their liking.

    Stephen JessupNov 25, 2013  #2

  • Can a contract physical therapist who get pain by my company legally do my FCE or dose it have to be an outside the company contractor? I fill it, is a conflict of intrust if I have to use the one the company already pays to work for them. All she is going to tell them is what they want to hear.

    Doug MillerNov 24, 2013  #1


Do you work in my state?

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Since we represent disability insurance claimants at different stages of a disability insurance claim we offer a variety of different fee options. We understand that claimants living on disability insurance benefits have a limited source of income; therefore we always try to work with the claimant to make our attorney fees as affordable as possible.

The three available fee options are a contingency fee agreement (no attorney fee or cost unless we make a recovery), hourly fee or fixed flat rate.

In every case we provide each client with a written fee agreement detailing the terms and conditions. We always offer a free initial phone consultation and we appreciate the opportunity to work with you in obtaining payment of your disability insurance benefits.

Do I have to come to your office to work with your law firm?

No. For purposes of efficiency and to reduce expenses for our clients we have found that 99% of our clients prefer to communicate via telephone, e-mail, fax, GoToMeeting.com sessions, or Skype. If you prefer an initial in-person meeting please let us know. A disability company will never require you to come to their office and similarly we are set up so that we handle your entire claim without the need for you to come to our office.

How can I contact you?

When you call us during normal business hours you will immediately speak with a disability attorney. We can be reached at 800-682-8331 or by email. Lawyer and staff must return all client calls same day. Client emails are usually replied to within the same business day and seem to be the preferred and most efficient method of communication for most clients.

Dell & Schaefer Client Reviews   *****

Debbie C.

You guys were great with getting my checks out to me and so forth. The amount that was quoted was true. Everyone was very professional.

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Request a free legal consultation: Call 800-682-8331 or Email Us