Matheson System

The Matheson System is the most versatile and comprehensive functional capacity evaluation system available for "safely" determining the functional abilities of people. It is based upon the principle of training "THINKING EVALUATORS".

The success of The Matheson System is in the training and certification of evaluators. Matheson trained evaluators are encouraged to "think outside the box" by choosing the best equipment and research available to answer the complex questions that allows for case resolution. The evaluators participate in a comprehensive and intense 5 day class that includes practicum, they are required to submit their actual work for critique and approval prior to certification, and they must be recertified every 5 years to maintain their status. Evaluators are provided with updates in the current research to ensure the most up to date test procedure.

Our approach to testing has two primary focuses:

  • Answering case resolution relevant questions
  • Adhering to the Practice Hierarchy of
    • Safety - Testing is always guided by evaluee safety
    • Reliability - Test equipment and procedures are chosen based upon research to support its use
    • Validity - Is the test a true indicator of current abilities.
    • Practicality - Are the procedures relevant to the question
    • Utility - Is the test procedure providing useful information

This approach treats both the payer and injured person fairly by providing an objective test while keeping the injured worker safe from re-injury during the evaluation.

The Matheson System was developed based upon the research of Leonard Matheson, PhD a leader in the field of Industrial Rehabilitation. It is also based upon the strict adherence to the most widely accepted standards of physical performance (U.S. Department of Labor, NIOSH, ANSI, MTM). It provides objective and defensible reports. (

The Matheson System is used to support appropriate determination in:

  • Workers' Compensation Insurance (both state and federal)
  • Long and Short-Term Disability Insurance Claims
  • Americans with Disability Act Compliance
  • Social Security Disability Determinations
  • Personal Injury Actions
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Equipment and protocols chosen by IHMS as advised by The Matheson System include:

  1. EPIC LIFT CAPACITY TEST - Designed and Tested by Leonard Matheson, PhD. Published in Spine in 1995, 1996, 2002.
  2. EPIC 4 - ROM and Upper Extremity Dexterity Testing
  3. Static and Dynamic Push/Pull Tests
  4. EPIC 3 - Dexterity and Positional Testing
  5. Minnesota Manual Dexterity Test/Pennsylvania Dexterity Testing
  6. EPIC HAND and SPINAL SORT- Test Perception of Ability.
  7. JAMAR - 5 Grip and Rapid Exchange
  8. VALPAR 202- Medium Handling and Hammering
  9. Cardiovascular Testing
  10. Job Specific Testing---work simulations.

* We have all of the equipment available to test all 20 critical job factors outlined by the Department of Labor

Test Procedure

The evaluator chooses the appropriate equipment to answer the referral sources question(s). In following with The Matheson System requirements, the procedure of each test chosen is followed precisely to ensure reliability with the test. If the evaluee cannot perform according to the procedure, deviation from the procedure is well documented. Matheson trained evaluators are taught to "avoid extrapolation of data". We test for a time that accurately demonstrates what a person will need to perform in "real life". Therefore, the length of the test and the tests chosen depend on the questions being asked prior to testing. The evaluator will need the demands of the tasks performed in order to ensure an accurate test comparison. An evaluee's tolerance to the test procedure can also dictate the length of testing. A full FCE usually lasts 5-6 hours. An FCE that only tests 3-4 work factors or has 1 specific question, usually lasts 2-3 hours. The cost ranges from $450 for a 2-4 hour test up to $1200 for testing beyond 4 hours.

IHMS Staff

Louise Lynch, Erica Galipeau and Charles Alexander are all Matheson trained. Louise and Erica are not only certified in the Matheson System, they are also instructors for Roy Matheson & Associates. They have defended their FCE's in the Vermont Workers Compensation System, as well as in Federal and State Court. Louise and Erica have been instructors for RMA for 10+ years and have taught the Matheson System to health care professionals around the world. We are the leaders in Vermont for providing an objective functional evaluation that answers your questions!

For more information or research articles to support our test procedures please contact us.