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.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

Most popular topics on

Social Security Disability in North Carolina

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Tips to Prepare for Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI

Advice to Win SSD and SSI Benefit Claims

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

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

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

Who is eligible for SSI disability?
How to get disability in Florida