If you are going through the process of filing a disability claim, then you know already that the outcome of your claim is far from certain. Even when you are convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that you meet all the necessary criteria to be declared disabled, there’s more than an even chance that the Social Security Administration might not see it that way.
That’s because the SSA has a very strict set of guidelines that it follows when it comes to determining who qualifies as disabled. The SSA Blue Book contains a set of conditions, illnesses or injuries that need to be met in order to gain SSDI benefits. But what if your physical condition doesn’t match up with one of the listings in the Blue Book? In this case, it might be tempting to just give up on the claim. However, there is a procedure in place that takes this into account, and that procedure is the Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE).
What is a Functional Capacity Evaluation?
Just like it sounds, and FCE is an evaluation, or test, designed to measure a patient’s overall ability. It’s actually more like a series of tests, because the FCE will be used by a physician to try and get a comprehensive overview of what you can and can’t do in a variety of situations. These tests will measure your mobility, strength, coordination, ability to grasp and lift objects, flexibility and other physical abilities as well.
Why is the FCE Important?
The FCE is important to your disability claim because physicians will base a large part of their diagnoses of your condition on the results of the evaluation. If your FCE determines that you lack the ability to endure physical exertion of any sort, the medical examiner will make a note of it. This information is passed on to the SSDI disability examiner, who will make a decision based on, in part, the recommendation of the physician who administered the FCE.
Even more, the physician will also use the results of the FCE to make an educated guess as to your future ability. Because SSDI claims are granted based on long-term prognoses, this is also a very important element to your overall disability claim.
In short, the Functional Capacity Evaluation is a necessary step on your way to being awarded SSDI benefits. Even if you don’t fit the description of a listing in the Blue Book, the FCE can still make the SSA aware of your disability and limitations, and SSDI benefits can still be granted.
If you would like to know more about FCEs or other SSDI-related information, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!