We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Functional Abilities Evaluation?

K.C. Bruning
Updated Feb 22, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A functional abilities evaluation is a series of physical tests that are used to evaluate the work ability of a previously injured or disabled individual. It is typically an intensive process that takes place over the course of a day. The participant is put through a standardized group of exercises that each measure a specific aspect of physical ability. This process is known by several other terms, including functional capacity evaluation, physical capacity evaluation, and work capacity evaluation.

Some of the skills examined in a functional abilities evaluation include strength, stamina, and range of motion. Often flexibility and speed are also tested as well. The tests are usually geared to the particular condition of the individual, taking into account the extent of the injury, the level of pain the patient experiences, and what limitations the impairment has imposed. An evaluation may also focus on the requirements of a particular job and incorporate specific tasks such as the ability to lift and carry a certain amount of weight.

In addition to determining the work ability of individuals, the tests in a functional abilities evaluation can be used as a baseline for what is considered an appropriate level of physical ability for a particular job. These criteria can be useful to industries that regularly see the recurrence of certain types of injuries. Upon completion of the evaluation, the tester will determine a specific level of ability for the individual.

The effectiveness of the ability baseline depends upon the skill level of professional administering the functional abilities evaluation. Part of a successful evaluation involves the proper analysis of the individual’s performance in each area. It is also important that the tester picks the mix of exercises that best evaluates an individual for the position in question. A tester may also consider the specific condition of the patient when determining how best to conduct the evaluation.

There are several reasons for conducting a functional abilities evaluation. It can be used to determine eligibility for redeployment to military service or a particular position. The test may also play a role in deciding whether an individual is eligible for disability payments. An assessment can be used to determine what sort of employment is appropriate for an individual recovering from an injury as well. A successful evaluation will typically provide the information necessary for the individual to advance from injury and disability to rehabilitation.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
K.C. Bruning
By K.C. Bruning
Kendahl Cruver Bruning, a versatile writer and editor, creates engaging content for a wide range of publications and platforms, including WiseGeek. With a degree in English, she crafts compelling blog posts, web copy, resumes, and articles that resonate with readers. Bruning also showcases her passion for writing and learning through her own review site and podcast, offering unique perspectives on various topics.
Discussion Comments
K.C. Bruning
K.C. Bruning
Kendahl Cruver Bruning, a versatile writer and editor, creates engaging content for a wide range of publications and...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.