Newsline No. 37-09 printer image Printer friendly

July 16, 2009

Division of Workers’ Compensation tames paper backlog at district offices

The Division of Workers' Compensation, which recently implemented a multi-phase plan to help its district offices process paper into the Electronic Adjudication Management System (EAMS), is already seeing results.

Paper backlogs at DWC's 24 district offices have been reduced by more than 70 percent in some large offices that had months of accumulated files to process. Overall, all but six of the district offices reduced their backlog.

Over a three month period, for example, Long Beach reduced its backlog from 1,255 total inches of paper to 732; Los Angeles cut 900 inches down to 102; and Van Nuys, DWC's largest office, reduced its 1,095 inches of paper to 246. (See accompanying chart, which includes all 24 district offices.)

“This is a sign that our plan is working,” said DWC Regional Manager Joel Harter. “The taskforce has done a great job in helping get our district offices on top of the situation, and now filers will see a quicker response when they bring in new documents.”

In April, the division did an inventory to measure the extent of the backlog in each district office. A taskforce was created to help district offices eliminate their backlog by focusing on one office at a time and on forms filed after Jan. 1, when scanner-ready OCR forms were required. The taskforce scanned and completed the backlog while the office staff concentrated on day-to-day business.

At each office, once the taskforce is finished, the EAMS internal training team follows up with district office staff to provide ongoing training, while the external user training team comes in to help filers understand how to fill out the OCR forms correctly. This process should help prevent the backlog from growing again.

External users should look for sign-up sheets for training coming to their local offices. Additionally, the division will soon be issuing a survey, which will ask filers to provide input on what additional training and tools may be needed to help them work effectively.

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chart of backlog in 24 DWC district offices, April 1, 2009 vs. July 6, 2009