How Is An FCE Used?

Submitted by rsg on

After you file a claim for disability benefits you may be told that you need to have an FCE or an RFC completed to determine your level of disability. When you file a claim for disability benefits the Social Security Administration uses several different methods of assessing disability to determine whether or not someone is so disabled they can’t work. The FCE, or Functional Capacity Evaluation, is one of the tools commonly used by the SSA.

What is a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE)?

There are a number of steps involved in getting approved for Social Security disability benefits. First, you must submit an application and a letter of diagnosis showing that you have a condition that is listed in the SSA’s Blue Book.

You will also need to submit proof that you meet the Blue Bool requirements. If you don’t meet the requirement set by the SSA investigators from the SSA will look at grid rules, an FCE, or an RFC to determine if there is any kind of work that you can do with the condition that you have.

The FCE, or Functional Capacity Evaluation, is done so that investigators can see if you are able to perform everyday tasks that you might need to do on a job. An FCE usually takes about four hours and is conducted by a trained physical therapist.

The physical therapist will assign you a series of tasks to determine how long you can stand, how long you can sit, how well you can use tools or manipulate things like pencils or pens and test your ability to perform other movements.

If the physical therapist finds that you can’t comfortably perform everyday tasks that would be required for a job then you will likely be eligible for disability benefits.

What’s The Difference Between FCE And Residual Functional Capacity (RFC)?

The primary difference between and FCE and an RFC is that the FCE is a physical evaluation that you must participate in conducted by a professional physical therapist while an RFC is a form filled out by your doctor that just describes your limitations in great detail.

The SSA can order you to complete and FCE but submitting an RFC is voluntary. And since the SSA can require an FCE if they do require one that means longer you will need to wait to be approved for benefits since your application won’t ruled on until the FCE is completed.

Even though submitting an RFC is voluntary and not necessary it’s a smart idea to submit one with your application. Submitting an RFC with your application packet may speed up the approval process or eliminate the need for an FCE because the SSA will be able to see documentation of your limitations in the RFC.

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