Functional Abilities Evaluation (FAE)

About Functional Abilities Evaluation (FAE)


Functional abilities evaluation provides a clear picture of physical and functional ability while an individual is recuperating from an injury or disability.

The FAE:

  • Measures ability to do tasks safely.
  • Determines disability or impairment levels.
  • Helps determine approach for active rehabilitation.

What is an FAE


A functional abilities evaluation (FAE) is used to determine an employee’s functional abilities and physical fitness before returning to work after an injury. The evaluation compares the current performance levels of an individual to the daily demands of the job the person performs

The evaluation is also used for disability determinations and for planning and monitoring an individual’s treatment and progress during rehabilitation.

A series of tests determine the functional abilities of an individual in an objective manner. These tests also evaluate a person’s ability to safely do all activities that are expected and/or possible in his or her job profile.

How it Helps


A functional abilities evaluation will give a clear picture of physical and functional ability when a patient is recuperating from an injury or disability. The assessment can help both the patient and the employer determine whether he or she is fit to return to the official duties of a typical work day. In addition, the patient can use a functional abilities evaluation to determine whether he or she is physically impaired by a work related injury in addition to determining work capabiliity.

An individual is approved for disability benefits on the basis of the functional abilities evaluation. People also apply for testing before court cases for personal injury or motor vehicle accidents.  The functional abilities evaluation is done alongside a physician’s independent medical examination (IME).

Common Questions


The functional abilities evaluation tests can last up to three or four hours.

Work hardening programs are tests that determine an employee’s ability to return to work. Work simulated activities are incorporated in the program along with general conditioning and cardiovascular exercises to improve the individual’s ability to return to work.

The employer is able to use the functional abilities evaluation to find out if the employee is capable of performing all or most of the tasks that are a part of his/her job profile. The employer will get an idea if the employee is physically fit enough to perform regular job tasks and/or if he or she would benefit from further rehabilitation. The employer will also be able to find out if the job can be modified or if additional support will help the employee perform the tasks in a more efficient manner.

A work conditioning evaluation is an important component of the functional abilities evaluation. It is a goal-oriented, comprehensive treatment specifically tailored to maintain and improve the musculoskeletal, neurological and systematic functions related to an individual’s strength, endurance, flexibility and coordination.

The objective of the functional abilities evaluation is to specifically determine the timely return to work or rehabilitation of an employee who has been injured or sick. The functional abilities evaluation includes a detailed medical history and present conditions report, an objective clinical assessment of neuromuscular ability, strength and endurance and functional testing that includes tasks like lifting and carrying, bending, squatting, push-ups, positional tolerances, aerobic capacity, and use of hands to do various tasks.

Coverage Options


pt Health therapy services are covered by most extended health insurance companies and in some cases Veterans Affairs and Medicare – such as OHIP (Ontario), Alberta Health Care and Medical Service Plan MSP (British Columbia). Not sure if you’re covered? No problem. We can help you find out (and usually within the hour). Just call us toll free at 1-866-749-7461.

At pt Health we believe your health should come first. We take care of the paperwork so you can focus on getting better, plus we offer direct insurance billing, saving you time and up front costs.
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The journal Przegla¸d epidemiologiczny (Przegl Epidemiol), published in Poland had a research summary on The functional ability and efficiency of motor skills evaluation of individuals admitted into nursing homes in Poland on December 30, 2005. This summary dealt primarily with functional abilities assessments.

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