Newsline No. 49-08 printer image Printer friendly

August 12, 2008

 

Division of Workers’ Compensation issues advance checks to special fund recipients

The Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) has issued advance checks to recipients of payments from two special funds to ensure their benefits continue during the transition to the Electronic Adjudication Management System (EAMS). The DWC issued over $2 million in advance benefits to approximately 4,500 workers who receive benefit payments through the Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust Fund (UEBTF) and the Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund (SIBTF).

“We are currently converting data from our old systems to EAMS,” said DWC Court Administrator Keven Star. “During this conversion there is a period of time when we don’t have access to either system. We took the extra step of providing advance checks to workers so they continue to receive payments during our transition.”

The DWC stopped entering data into its old systems in early August, but EAMS does not go live until Aug. 25. This period is known as the “cutover,” when all data from the old systems is moved into EAMS. Under the old system, the majority of UEBTF and SIBTF benefit recipients received checks every two weeks through an automated payment process. That process will continue under EAMS, but could have been disrupted during the cutover period, which is why DWC moved to provide advance payments to these workers.

“We are implementing a brand new system so we also cut enough advance checks to pay people through early October, which gives us some breathing room, as well as ensures those entitled to a regular recurring benefit receive it with as little disruption as possible,” said Star. “Not having to process checks right at go-live will help ensure we have enough time to re-enter all the payment cycle information in EAMS.”

The DWC believes it covered every worker who receives benefits from the UEBTF or the SIBTF with advance checks. However, if a worker finds a problem with a UEBTF advance payment, they are encouraged to call the UEBTF Los Angeles office at 213.576.7300. Workers who encounter a problem with an SIBTF advance payment should call the SIBTF Sacramento office at 916.263.2774 for assistance.

The UEBTF provides benefits when illegally uninsured employers fail to pay workers' compensation benefits awarded to their injured employees by the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board. The SIBTF is a source of additional compensation to injured workers who already had a disability or impairment at the time of their industrial injury. One of the thresholds to cross before qualifying to receive SIBTF benefits is that the combined effect of the previous disability or impairment and the industrial injury must result in a permanent disability of at least 70 percent. The fund enables employers to hire disabled workers without fear of being held liable for the effects of previous disabilities or impairments.

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