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FUNCTIONAL CAPACITY EVALUATION
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FUNCTIONAL CAPACITY EVALUATION

Has anyone had to take a FUNCTIONAL CAPACITY EVALUATION before.  My pain doc wants to give me one.  I have been on OXYIR and SOMA for 5 years and some days I just do not feel like i can make it to work so I asked to be taken out of work and put on disability.  I am a manager for a large corporation.  What is involved and is there a fail or pass to determine if they will allow me to go on disability or not?
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You can expect an FCE to be requested by Social Security or any insurance company that handles your long-term disability coverage.  They aren't so much looking for evidence that you can't do your current job, but for evidence that you can't do ANY job.  In a way, it is a "fail or pass" proposition.  They will likely say that you are X% disabled, with the remaining functional capacity meaning you can still work - at something.   So, you need to think about things like how long you can sit or stand, how much can you lift, can you drive yourself to and from work, can you walk, can you talk on the phone, can you sit at a computer.  If you have to travel to the doctor's office, it would be best to have someone else drive you.  It's not about how sick you are or how much pain you're in.  It IS about how all that has impacted and destroyed your life and made you incapable of being employed by anyone.
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You also need to document exactly how your medical problem affects your ability to be gainfully employed which means can you make $830-month at any type of work.  I am in my 29th month since filing for SSDI and I will finally go before the judge next month in the appeal process.  I highly recommend an attorney or a firm that specializes in SSDI/SSI claims.
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I've had to take a FCE for a knee injury sustained by a cellphone driven Dodge Neon trying to use the same peice of road I was on with my Harley. After I was relesed from surgery, physical therapy, treatment and deamed at MMR (maximum medical recovery) the at fault insurance company requested that a FCE be performed. It is an evaluation of your overall abiliity to perform general tasks you would do at any type of job and is timed by how long you can do the different tasks without pause for pain or exhaustion. I put an honest effort into each task and made the best of the exam. It took about three hours for the whole thing and I had already worked a full day. In the end after my Ortho reviewed the results I was deemed 14% disabled and it was recommended that I no longer work at heights above ground level, limit standing and squatting. The FCE isn't there for your work to decide what you are capable of it's there for your doctor to make recommendations for your future well being. I didn't percieve it as a "Pass/Fail" evaluation as much as a what is my current condition/ability and what may I expect to be able to do with those limitations. If you are disabled and can't work because of the injuries or sickness you are experiencing then by all means take the eval and have someone take you and bring you home. I was extremely exhausted and in pain when we finished. I have continued to work the same job and do what is necessary. Even though my knee won't support the type of work I do I have learned how to pace myself and position myself to keep from aggrivating the injury. I enjoy the work I do and my employer is aware of the conditions set forth in my FCE. Trial and error have given me the ability to continue to do the job and I don't have to depend on a measly SSDI check to try and survive on. At some point I'll have to have a knee repalcement but I'm not "Old Enough" to warrant a replacement yet. I wish you the best and I hope I've been of some help as to what you can expect and how I dealt with the results. Good Luck!
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