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Electronic Adjudication Management System (EAMS) Insider

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Issue 7 November 17, 2008

Welcome to EAMS Insider, the newsletter about the Electronic Adjudication Management System (EAMS).

The Division of Workers’ Compensation fields many questions from injured workers, employers, attorneys, insurers, lien claimants, and others about the new system. This newsletter was created to answer those questions and share information. Every two weeks, EAMS Insider will provide information on new developments and what to expect during this transition. Bulletins will also be sent to subscribers for important announcements. (Sign up to be a subscriber at EAMS@dir.ca.gov.)

What you need to know

For a quick primer on EAMS, point your browser to www.dwc.ca.gov/eams. There, you will find a project overview, fact sheet, FAQs, OCR forms and sample filings, blogs from DWC Judges Colleen Casey and Bob Norton, application demos and a glossary. Even if you have visited the Web site before, be sure to check back often for updates, “how to” guides and other useful tools. The main page recently had a makeover, and it’s much easier to find what you are looking for. Check it out!

EAMS updates

There is change in the air, and it’s not just the seasonal weather. Today—Monday, Nov. 17—is the day that the new regulations that codify filing and other court procedures go into effect.

Up to now, filers at the DWC district offices had the option of using either the new OCR forms or the old legacy forms because the regulations weren’t final. But starting today, the regulations mandate that the 24 district offices statewide will accept only OCR forms. The only exception is for participants in the e-forms trial, who are filing all of their forms electronically. Everyone else will file OCR forms.

If you haven’t yet started filing OCR forms, don’t panic. Just be prepared to do a little reading on the DWC Web site. Here are some links to get you started:

Everything you need to know is in the OCR forms filing handbook.

Next, read the guide on how to use fillable forms.

The “Working in EAMS” page has more than a dozen examples of how to set up files for submission using OCR forms, cover sheets and document separator sheets. Here’s the proper sequence for a Declaration of Readiness to Proceed.

When you are ready to tackle the forms yourself, you’ll find them here.

There’s also a handy complete list of OCR (and e-form) document titles here. This is a user friendly way for filers to see all of the documents by type and by title, and to determine the proper document title used to complete the document separator sheet. The document titles are further categorized by DWC case unit: ADJ, DEU, Voc, integrated case, and RSU.

Need help? Email the EAMSHelpDesk@dir.ca.gov.

If you scrolled down this far looking for the words “grace period,” here it is: Legacy forms will be accepted until Friday, Dec. 12. And there will be a three-month transition period for unrepresented injured workers filing legacy forms. Forms requiring multiple signatures will be accepted in legacy form as long as the filer establishes that circulation began before Nov. 17.

The entire system will work better with everybody in compliance. If you aren’t yet using the new forms, we encourage you to learn how to use them as soon as possible. Don’t wait.

OCR forms update

The OCR forms on the DWC Web site are newly updated and, after a few refinements, are the final forms. Please be sure that you are using only the versions posted on this Web page, as they conform to the new court regulations.

You can save the blank versions to your computer since they are now official, but future changes are possible. In that event, we’ll alert you in the Insider and on the Web site.

  • The forms page on the DWC Web site has always contained both the OCR forms and the legacy forms. Now that the regulations are in effect, only legacy forms without an OCR equivalent will be posted. All other legacy forms will be available only at the district offices, and only in paper form.

e-Forms update

Those of you participating in the e-forms trial have worked with Steve Angelides, who administered the trial since its inception in July. He also oversaw the Central Registration Unit (CRU) and many other things that kept EAMS on track and moving forward.

Steve was only available to us for six months, and he needed to return to his regular job. DWC is sad to see him go and we thank him for his invaluable service. Many of you sent emails to Steve Angelides, but please note that he can no longer respond.

Taking his place is Charles Ellison, a judge in our San Diego district office. Chuck has extensive experience with EAMS as a trainer, and has been the lead trainer on the e-form filing process. He also worked diligently to update and improve the OCR forms since they were first posted on the DWC Web site. He is one of the division’s EAMS experts, so you will be in good hands.

First level support for the e-form trial remains the EAMSHelpDesk@dir.ca.gov.

  • Round five of the e-Forms trial begins today! We now have more than 100 offices, including claims administrators, attorneys—both applicant and defense firms—and lien claimants, participating in the trial. E-Forms are Web forms that allow users with a logon and password to submit forms and supporting documents directly into EAMS over the Internet.

The adoption of the OCR regulations will not affect e-forms trial members. You will continue under the terms of the agreement for the duration of the trial.

Interested in joining the e-forms trial? Send an email to EAMS@dir.ca.gov with “e-forms trial” in the subject line. Include your office name and contact info.

New FAQs: DWC is constantly making improvements to the EAMS Web site and is working to make the changes more apparent to frequent visitors. We are also compiling the new and updated FAQs and sending them out in this bi-weekly edition of the EAMS Insider. In this summary, updated questions have the update image ”Update”  icon next to them. The rest are new questions.

For the full selection of questions and answers, visit www.dwc.gov/eams and click on frequently asked questions under “EAMS information.”

Here are the FAQ updates made between Nov. 1 and Nov. 17.

Topics covered in this FAQ update include:

Filing in EAMS
Uniform assigned names
Filing OCR forms
The OCR cover sheet
Filing e-forms

About filing in EAMS:

Q: If we submit OCR documents on a pro per claim and later assign counsel, will they have to also submit OCR documents, or may they file electronically?

A: Only those in the e-forms trial can submit forms electronically, and those who are in the e-forms trial must submit all their forms electronically (except under very limited circumstances). So, if you are an OCR filer and you bring in a defense attorney whose office is in the e-forms trial, the defense firm must make all their submissions by e-form—they will not be limited to the filing method you are using. However, they must file a “Notice of Representation” in order to be linked to the case. 

Uniform assigned names:

Q: After I submit a request for a uniform name, will I receive a response from the Central Registration Unit, or will the uniform name just appear on the list? 

A: If your request was submitted correctly, the new assigned name or information will be posted within 10 days of receipt of the request. You will receive a response only if your request was submitted incorrectly.

Q: We have repeatedly contacted a certain claims administrator and let them know they need to register.  Do we have to wait for them to register?  What if they never do?

A: No. You do not have to wait for them. You can get them registered by sending all the information you have about them, along with a letter explaining your effort to get them to register, to the Central Registration Unit. The CRU will, in turn, contact the entity and get them registered.  

update image Q: If I need to file an OCR form immediately and cannot wait for the uniform name to be assigned, can I just use the regular name in the field and submit it that way?

A: If necessary, you may use the regular name until a uniform name is assigned.  However, this will produce a scanning error, which will send the form to the unprocessed documents queue where it will have to be manually handled by a DWC employee. This will result in a delay until the participant can be registered in the uniform assigned names database.

Q: If I have a SCIF case, how can I identify which claims administrator’s office it belongs to if all I have is an address common to many offices?

A: You will have to contact SCIF to get that information if they do not indicate on their correspondence which uniform name to use when submitting documents intended for a particular office.

Q: When we submit a form, does the address have to be the same one that you have listed for us on the uniform assigned name database, or can we use an alternate address?

A: You should use the uniform assigned name and address just as it was registered by your office on the database

Filing OCR forms:

Q: If I am filing multiple forms for several different cases at one district office, may I place them all in one large envelope for mailing? Since staples are not permitted, can clips be used to keep the documents together in the correct order?

A: You may place all of the documents in the same envelope, but be sure the envelope is large enough to keep documents from becoming wrinkled or folded. Paper clips and binder clips may be used to keep the documents together as long as the clips do not cause folds, wrinkles, dents, or tears to the documents.

Q: The OCR handbook states that documents filed may not exceed 25 pages.  Does this limit include the separator sheets & cover page?

A: The 25-page rule does not include the document separator sheet and document cover sheet. Medical reports are also an exception to the rule.

Q: I have a deposition transcript to be filed as a trial exhibit that is well over 25 pages.  How would I handle this?

A: You would submit only the portions of the deposition that you will be referring to during the trial. It would also be a good idea to include the front cover sheet of the deposition that includes additional information pertaining to the deposition. Do not submit the entire deposition.

Q: According to the handbook, all OCR forms are to be submitted in serif font.  The letterhead our firm presently uses is in Arial.  If we submit a letter which is typed in Times New Roman on our letterhead, will it scan properly?

A: The fields where EAMS picks up information must be typed in serif font for optimal recognition of the characters. EAMS will not need to pick up information from your letterhead, so serif font is not necessary and you may continue to use your existing letterhead.

Q: Is it OK for users to print and reuse blank OCR forms from the Web site?  Our clients will most likely need to print out blank forms from the Web site, manually fill out the forms (on a typewriter), and then mail them in.
   
A: Forms may be printed out individually from the Web site, but you must submit the original or a first generation copy to the district office. Copies of copies cannot be read bv the scanners. You may refer to the OCR handbook at http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/eams/SampleFiles/EAMS_OCR%20handbook.pdf for more information.

Q: On the attorney information sections of the OCR forms, are we required to enter both the law firm number and the law firm name?

A: You only need to enter your uniform assigned name, and that will enable EAMS to access all of your other information.

Q: I am sending a “Request for Qualified Medical Evaluator” form to the Medical Unit at the Oakland address. Do I need to include a document cover sheet and separator sheet as well? 

A: No. Requests for panel QME’s are processed in the same way they were prior to EAMS. No cover sheet or separator sheet is needed.

The OCR cover sheet

Q: I am trying to file an OCR “Application for Adjudication” on an injured worker who has more than five body parts involved. The document cover sheet only allows me to list five body parts. Where do I show the additional body parts?

A: The body part codes contain options that allow for multiple parts. For example, code number 148 is: Face - multiple parts any combination of above parts (which refers to other face-related body part codes list above number 148 in the list). Using these combination codes allows you to list multiple parts. Additionally, code 700, which allows for multiple parts where more than five major parts are involved, can be used in the fifth position (only) of the body parts list on the cover sheet. You can provide more specific details in the comments or explanation section of the form itself. If you need to, as a last resort, you can attach an addendum to the form you are submitting and list the additional body parts and details there.

Filing e-forms:

Q: We recently filed several e-forms, but we do not know whether or not they went through. We tried looking them up in EAMS but could not find them. We also did not get a batch confirmation when we submitted the documents. How do we check to see if they have been filed properly?

A: It is very important that you receive batch numbers when you are filing e-forms—if you did not get a batch number, the forms did not go through. When you properly submit forms and receive a batch number, make a note of it. Then please allow one working day and you should be able to go in and view the documents if you are a party to the case. If you have any problems, you would notify the help desk with the batch number and the help desk will check on the filing for you.

Q: Once we get our batch number, where do we go to see if our document was received by the WCAB?

A: You will go the INT case home page and locate the “Case Documents” section near the bottom of the page. You will see the different product delivery units listed and you will click on the product delivery unit that you filed the document under (ADJ, DEU, etc.). This will pull up the File Net window, where you will scroll to the bottom of the page to locate the document you filed.

Q: Is there a way to look up your submitted form using the batch number?

A: Not for the external user. Batch numbers are only useful for DWC staff to track and locate documents that were not processed properly into EAMS. Once the batch is successfully submitted into EAMS, the batch number no longer has any relevance to the documents or the case.

Q: How do we reschedule a hearing date that was made by e-filing?

A: Enter the ADJ number, then click on "External User Request for Action" and fill out the information requesting a continuance.  This will take you back to the adjudication product delivery home page and create a task for the judge’s secretary to submit to the judge.

Q: We are an e-forms filer and would like to file a “Request for Qualified Medical Evaluator.” Since there is no e-form available, should we file this as an unstructured document?

A: No. Requests for panel QMEs are processed in the same way they were prior to EAMS. That is, you file them the same way you always did: Submit the paper legacy form directly to the DWC Medical Unit in Oakland.

Q: I need to get a user ID for my company in order to have access to the EAMS electronic filing system. Can you please advise how to apply for this?

A: User names and passwords are only being given to those who are participating in the EAMS e-forms trial. Organizations or entities that have volunteered and were selected to file all forms and documents electronically in the e-forms trial have received a logon and password enabling them to access EAMS. Logons and passwords will become generally available for other external users once e-form regulations have been finalized.

How you can help

When you have a question about filing, email EAMSHelpDesk@dir.ca.gov. Our experts will assist you.

When you have a concern or question related to EAMS, email EAMS@dir.ca.gov. We will make sure it gets to the right person.

EAMS Insider is published every two weeks by the DWC Communications Office. It can also be found on the division’s Web site at www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/EAMS. Questions? Comments? Story ideas? Email EAMS@dir.ca.gov

EAMS Public Information Officer Peter Melton
510-286-7100