ERISA Attorney - You May Want to Avoid Functional Capacity Evaluations

If you are a Long Term Disability applicant and your Long Term Disability carrier has asked for you to undergo a functional capacity evaluation you are being set up! It is not uncommon for Long Term Disability carriers to use Functional Capacity Evaluations to challenge your doctor’s opinions or your statements about your ability to function.

The Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) assesses both the ability to perform a task and the structural design limits of the person who is actually doing the task. This standardized evaluation is also commonly referred to as a physical capacity evaluation, work capacity evaluation, or disability assessment.

The testing tends to focus on work activities (in an effort to reduce the potential for injury). Someone undergoing an FCE should expect to perform activities such as sitting, standing, walking, reaching, lifting, and bending.

While most Long Term Disability carriers have the right to such an evaluation, you should know that Long Term Disability carriers, such as CIGNA will routinely send instructions to the FCE provider about how to fill in the forms, how to interpret the data and even to conclude that if you can sit for 45 minutes, they should mark "continuously," on their forms.

Many insurers seek FCE's even where the policy does not specifically permit the right to conduct such an evaluation. In these instances, we typically aggressively challenge the insurers' right to the evaluation, based upon policy language, as well as legal challenges concerning the reliability of the test results, and medical challenges to the safety of such evaluations.

If your insurer is attempting to compel you to attend an FCE, I strongly urge you to first speak with an experienced long-term disability lawyer to protect your rights.

Call your Michigan Long-Term Disability ERISA attorneys today at 1-866-540-0677 to help you fight aggressively for Long-Term Disability benefits if you suffer from a physical and/or mental illness. If you are in Macomb County, Oakland County, Wayne County or anywhere else in Michigan or the United States and need help with your Long-Term Disability ERISA case, contact our office at