A Functional Capacity Evaluation is helpful in determining the true physical abilities a disabled person has so that proper assessment of job related skills can be made before vocational rehabilitation is recommended or assigned. This type of evaluation can be used to take some of the guesswork out of what an individual patient will be able to tolerate.

These evaluations can be done at special centers whose main function is to test patients and report the results to insurance carriers, treating physicians, evaluative physicians and attorneys. They can be carried out by General Physical Therapy Programs that have provided some specialized training in this field for their physical therapists and trainers. They can also be accomplished by full functional restoration programs as part of their multiweek retraining of patients. Although doctors can estimate sitting, standing, walking, driving, etc. times, functional capacity evaluators can actually measure these parameters over a period of several days to determine not only initial performance, but performance over time.