Functional Capabilities Considered to Discover Possible Reasonable Accommodations

/ / Posts

If you are an attorney and you have a case which contains a question about your client’s employability and earning capacity, you should work closely with a vocational expert. A vocational expert can do a thorough analysis of all the factors affecting your client’s ability to work and earn money, and then create a report on the client’s employability and earning capacity. When making recommendation about whether a client can work and what jobs may be available to them, a vocational expert will take into consideration possible job place accommodations that could help an injured client with functional limitation return to work.

When a vocational expert considers reasonable accommodations, he will weigh the injured client’s residual functional capacities. Functional capacities include physical capabilities, intellectual capabilities, and psychological capabilities.

Physical capabilities include:

  • Strength, range of motion
  • Completing tasks in allotted time
  • Maintaining work stamina/pace
  • Risk of physical injury to self or others

Intellectual capabilities include:

  • Learning the Job
  • Concentration
  • Following schedule/attending work
  • Assessing individual work performance
  • Problem solving
  • Organization
  • Solving problems/organizing work
  • Literacy and language skills

Psychosocial capabilities include:

  • Coping with work environment
  • Interacting socially with others
  • Interpreting work and social cues
  • Adjusting to work situations
  • Tolerating stress

Job accommodations can expand an injured client’s capabilities and remove barriers to job performance. Different job accommodations are suitable to help injured workers with different limited functional capacities return to work. The possible use of job accommodations will be evaluated by a vocational expert in conjunction with the injured client’s overall medical condition.


Edmond Provder, owner of Occupational Assessment Services, Inc. (OAS), is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. Mr. Provder has extensive experience documenting the earning capacity and employability of injured and disabled plaintiffs in a variety of circumstances. Contact OAS at 800-292-1919 to discuss how we can help in your case.