Newsline No. 54-08 printer image Printer friendly

August 29, 2008

 

Division of Workers’ Compensation asks attorneys, hearing representatives, claims administrators and other form filers to begin voluntarily using new forms

Use of new uniform assigned names will also assist district offices in scanning process

The Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) is requesting that all parties filing forms at district offices begin using new optical character recognition (OCR) forms as soon as possible to help facilitate scanning documents into the Electronic Adjudication Management System (EAMS). Additionally, all parties filing forms into EAMS—be they an injured worker, a claims administrator, an attorney, a lien claimant or other—need to use the uniform assigned name to identify the claims administrator or representative on all forms in the case for which they are filing.

“EAMS is up and running,” said Court Administrator Keven Star. “And it works best with the forms designed to populate electronic case files. Many of our external users are already voluntarily using new OCR forms. The more folks we get on board with the new system, the better off we’ll all be.”

OCR forms are posted on the DWC Web site at www.dwc.ca.gov/eams. Since the forms are not yet finalized, users are being asked to be sure they are using the most current version and to not save the blank forms onto their personal computers until they are final.

The other vital piece of the new system needed to ease the process of scanning documents into EAMS is the use of uniform assigned names. Forms filed in EAMS automatically create new workers’ compensation case files or open existing case files. Part of this automated process involves associating the related parties to their cases. To ensure that parties are properly associated to cases in EAMS, the DWC created a uniform naming convention for claims administrator and representative offices. Claims administrators are insurance carriers who self-administer claims, third party administrators, and self-insured, self-administered employers. Representatives are attorney and non-attorney representatives.

Uniform names for claims administrators’ offices and representatives’ offices are assigned by the DWC.

All external parties filing forms in EAMS need to use the uniform assigned name to identify the claims administrator or representative in the case for which they are filing. The other types of case participants do not currently have uniform assigned names.

An example of how the uniform assigned name should be used:

Filers should note that they not only have to use their own assigned name if they are a claims administrator or a representative, but the assigned names of any other claims administrators or representatives they are naming in the form.

If an attorney or claims administrator doesn’t know its firm’s assigned name or the assigned name of a claims administrator or representative they are listing on a form, they should look it up in the DWC’s uniform assigned names database. If the claims administrator or representative’s office is not in the database, they should register now by sending a letter on letterhead, with an authorized signature, to DWC’s new Central Registration Unit: by e-mail to cru@dir.ca.gov or by fax to (888) 822-9309. At this time, the Central Registration Unit is only registering claims administrators’ offices and representatives’ offices, so uniform names are not required for other types of case participants.

“It will take a cooperative effort to get everyone registered, so if you don’t see your name or the name of a firm you regularly work with in the database, communicate with them to make sure they’re registered,” said Star. “The more claims administrator and representative offices that are registered, and the more forms filers know and properly enter those names on forms, the smoother it will be for all of us, because names entered incorrectly in the claims administrator or representative fields on forms have to be manually corrected by our district office staff.”

Any parties running up against statutory deadlines should file their documents with the best information they have available.

Questions regarding the uniform names, the use of the uniform names database, or the new central registration process may be e-mailed to EAMSHelpDesk@dir.ca.gov or asked by calling (888) 771-3267 (888-771-EAMS), and selecting option 4. Additionally, parties with specific questions about a case filing may call the EAMS Help Desk.

Parties with general questions about EAMS, the forms, the regulations or other questions should send them to eams@dir.ca.gov.

It would also assist DWC if external users developed a system of escalating only questions to the EAMS Help Desk that can’t be answered by reviewing the answers to frequently asked questions and other information on the Web site. Some external users have designated their own EAMS training coordinator to answer questions and have developed internal procedures for escalating only questions that can’t be answered internally. DWC suggests this process as an option for external users to escalate questions:

DWC will be conducting additional “train the trainers” sessions for external users in September. A separate announcement about the training dates and locations will be issued by Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2008.

More EAMS information is on the Web at www.dwc.ca.gov/eams.

###