Functional Capacity Evaluations and Vocational Assessments

When are “functional” and “vocational” services helpful? 

According to several decisions, we are sharing the following extracted information regarding these two assessments, which often go hand-in hand:

  1. Functional capacity evaluation (“FCE”) will provide objective data for assessing a Plaintiff’s current physical functionality;
  2. FCE will identify functional limitations;
  3. FCE will identify whether the injuries will prevent or limit a Plaintiff’s ability to continue with current employment;
  4. FCE will also assess a Plaintiff’s capacity for future employment;
  5. FCE may also be used in determining eligibility for long-term disability benefits, or other benefits.
  6. FCE will assist in ensuring that an individual is not re-injured in their workplace.
  7. A vocational assessment is necessary to identify employment options for which the plaintiff may be suited.
  8. In addition, a vocational assessment would clarify a Plaintiff’s suitability for various occupations;
  9. A vocational assessment would also assist in a Plaintiff’s claim for past and future income loss.

In order to consider whether these assessments are necessary, here are a few factors to consider:

  1. Consider whether the injuries that relate to any income loss claim are, in fact, caused by the incident (MVA);
  2. Is there potentially a significant claim for damages for past and future loss of earning capacity?
  3. Would these assessments be helpful in presenting a claim?
  4. Would these assessments be helpful to the Court in understanding the issues and the potential claims being advanced?
  5. Keep in mind the party requesting the assessments bears the onus of establishing that the further medical examinations are necessary:

Functional Services

Vocational Services

Functional Capacity/Abilities Evaluation (FCE/FAE)

Cognitive Abilities Evaluation (CAE)

Cost of Future Care Evaluation (CFC)

In-Home Assessments

Worksite Evaluations

Ergonomic Evaluations

Transferable Skills Analysis (TSA)

Vocational Rehabilitation Evaluation

Psycho-Vocational Evaluation

Neuropsycho-Vocational Evaluation

Psychoeducational Evaluation

Competitive Employability Assessment

Labor Market Survey

Contact: Viewpoint for further information: 

Viewpoint Website: Click Here.

Decisions reviewed regarding these assessments:

  1. Bourelle v. Loukopoulos, 2014 BCSC 843 (CanLII)
  2. Stocker v. Osei-Appiah, 2015 BCSC 2312 (CanLII)
  3. Hayhurst v. Rees, 2014 BCSC 1714 (CanLII)

We also have several articles on the topic of Cost of Future Care:

  1. Cost of future care – Review; Must not simply improve a Plaintiff’s enjoyment of life
  2. Cost of future care 2019; Judges must “peer into the future” and fix the damages “as best they can”. This includes allowing contingencies for the possibility that the future may differ from what the evidence at trial indicates
  3. Cost of future care – Medical Cannabis; Plaintiff and Defence arguments on medical justification for medical cannabis
  4. Costs of future care – Arguments to reduce items claimed; Assessing damages for cost of future care is not a precise accounting exercise.