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SSDRC Disability Blog

Is an FCE the same thing as the RFC evaluation done by Social Security Disability?

No, not really. This is how wikiedia defines FCE: "A functional capacity evaluation (FCE) is set of tests, practices and observations that are combined to determine the ability of the evaluated to function in a variety of circumstances, most often employment, in an objective manner."

You can tell from the description that the assessment is based on results obtained. An RFC rating is done by a disability examiner, the doctor assigned to that examiner's case processing unit, or an administrative law judge and it is done solely by a review of the medical records available to them. So, nothing has been done to actually assess anything; it is just a rating based on a reading of the medical records.

When SSA sends a person to a consultative medical examination,they get a report of the doctor's findings of the exam and in cases where this type of exam was ordered, the RFC assessment made by the examiner, the examiner's medical consultant,or a judge, may incorporate the findings of the doctor who did the consultative exam (CE), but that's still just a matter of reading the medical records, which the CE is now a part of.

Here's the really big difference: An FCE is a report of an evaluation by the same individual who actually did the evaluation. An RFC writeup is done by someone who examined the person, and probably never even met them.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

Mental and Physical Residual Functional Capacity
How Residual Functional Capacity affects Social Security Disability and SSI claims
Residual Functional Capacity for SSDI and SSI
Medical Source Statements
How does Social Security Disability Decide if you can Work or Not?
For Social Security Disability and SSI, What Does It Mean When A person Can Only Do Sedentary Work?
Getting approved for disability based on being blind
Anxiety about a Social Security Disability medical exam
Can you get disability for OCD?
Can you get disability for Chronic fatigue and Fibromyalgia?
Is Chronic Fatigue considered a disability by Social Security?
Is an FCE the same thing as the RFC evaluation done by Social Security Disability?
How is memory loss considered by Social Security Disability?
Is Morbid Obesity Considered A Disability?
SSDI Request for Reconsideration
Social Security Disability Back Payment Lump Sum
Appealing a Social Security Disability Claim decision
SSI Reconsideration vs SSDI Disability Reconsideration

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

How to file for disability, filing tips
What to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits
Applying for disability benefits, SSI and SSDI
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability?
Will you get disability back pay?
Social Security Disability And SSI Qualifications
Permanent Disability Qualifications for SSD and SSI
Social Security Disability SSI status
Disability lawyer representation, finding lawyers
Who will qualify for disability and what qualifying is based on
Qualifications for Disability Benefits
Important points about filing for disability
How long does it take to get disability after applying?
Am I Eligible For Social Security Disability?
Who is eligible for SSI disability?
How to get disability in Florida