Answers to frequently asked questions about the Electronic Adjudication Management System (EAMS)
The FAQs below apply to claims filed on or before Jan. 1, 2013. Updated information based upon the implementation of SB 863 and its changes to California’s workers’ compensation system will be available soon.
Working in EAMS
Injured worker-specific questions
Claims administrator-specific questions
EAMS training and resources
Filing in EAMS
Uniform assigned names
Filing OCR forms
The OCR cover sheet
The OCR document separator sheet
Participating in an e-forms trial
Electronic data exchange system (EDEX)
Lien claimant-specific questions
Q: What is EAMS?
A: EAMS is a computer based system that simplified the DWC case management process to more efficiently resolve claims, improve the ability to schedule and manage court calendars, allow files to be shared between multiple users and transform paper files into secure electronic files, reducing the need for physical storage space at local DWC offices and the State Records Center.
Q: How does EAMS work?
A: EAMS was built using "commercial, off the shelf software," which means it has a solid foundation and is more easily upgradeable. DWC staff began using EAMS in 2008. External users—those who need to file forms and documents with the district offices and the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board Reconsideration Unit—can file electronically using e-forms or JET File, or use scanner-ready paper OCR forms.
Q: Where can I find more information on EAMS?
Q: How can I learn to use EAMS?
A:Information and training materials is available on the EAMS "working in EAMS” Web site.
Q: How are cases created in EAMS?
Q: Is case information kept confidential?
A: Case information that is statutorily required to be kept confidential will be accessible only to authorized users in accordance with the law. (Applicants have access to all information about their case.) The workers' compensation court public information case search gives access to limited information that helps move cases through the workers’ compensation court system efficiently.
Q: Some forms ask for a Social Security number, but I heard that Social Security numbers were no longer required. Should we use them or not? Will our forms be rejected without them?
A: Social Security numbers are not required. All required fields are highlighted in red. Your forms and documents will not be rejected on the basis of not having a SSN. Including the SSN’s anyway would be helpful in the event of any kind of error in the name or case number on your forms.
Q: I need the applicant’s SSN to look up the case on our system. Where can I find it in EAMS?
A: You will not be able to view the SSN in EAMS. It is no longer a required field for identification of applicants and is not accessible to external users.
Q: Now that the WCAB case numbers have changed and no longer indicate venue, how do we know which district office a hearing will be scheduled at?
A: The venue is selected when filing the application for adjudication. For e-filers with logons and passwords, the location of venue is shown under the case details on the ADJ page in EAMS. For everyone else, the notice of hearing will indicate the hearing location address and the assigned judge.
Q: May an attorney file medical reports and other documents before an MSC, rather than bring them to the MSC?
A: No. The regulations require parties to file any AME, QME or PTP reports not previously filed with the DWC district office, which are relevant to the issue(s) raised on the DOR. No other documents may be filed with the DOR. The regulations require parties to bring and submit all relevant reports and documents, at the time of the MSC should the issues not be resolved at the MSC and the case is to be set for trial. Non-relevant documents are not to be filed with the district office. When documents must be filed is dictated by various sections of the Labor Code and new regulations. Consult your legal experts for further legal advice.
Q: May a defense attorney representing an insurance carrier or TPA pull up their client's information and update (edit) it?
A: No. EAMS uses a "uniform assigned names" list for claims administrators and representatives. Changes to those entities' names or addresses must be handled through the DWC's Central Registration Unit. Whenever filling out any form, parties must obtain and use the exact assigned name the claims administrator or representative, as shown on the central registration list. Forms submitted with information different from that listed in the Central Registration Unit will go into the unprocessed document queue with other such documents needing correction. A DWC clerk will attempt to discern the intent of the filer and either correct simple errors or return the filing to the sender, both of which will delay processing of your filings.
Claims administrators, law firms, lien claimants and others will need to develop internal systems for assuring accuracy in filing.
Q: We have specific operational issues not shared by most external users. Who can answer our specific questions?
A: You may request a targeted consultation from us, in which we will give you whatever assistance we can with such issues. E-mail us at email@example.com and put "targeted consultation request" in the subject line of your e-mail.
Q: I was injured at work and am not getting medical treatment. How do I file a claim in EAMS?
A:Your first step is to be sure you have talked to your employer and filed a workers' compensation claim with your employer. If you have done this and you are not getting benefits, or your employer has denied your claim, you should contact a DWC information and assistance officer at your local office. The information and assistance officer can help you, free of charge, understand the system and file any paperwork needed to help you resolve your problem.
If you want to fill out the documents by yourself, you can find examples of how to set up files for submission on the OCR forms filers page. If you want to file your forms electronically, apply for the e-forms trial.
Q: I am an injured worker, and am not represented by an attorney so far. I would like to file an Application for Adjudication, but don't have access to a computer or typewriter. Can I fill in the OCR form with handwritten information?
A: Unrepresented injured workers that do not have access to a computer or typewriter may fill out the OCR forms by printing neatly in block letters. Contact an Information and Assistance Officer at your local district office if you need help.
Q: What happens to an injured worker’s personal information—address, Social Security number, medical records—that is requested on various DWC forms? Is it kept confidential?
A: The division uses this information solely to administer its duties in workers’ compensation claims. For example, if an injured worker provides their Social Security number (in whole or in part), DWC will use it as an identifier to ensure that documents are matched to the correct workers’ comp case. Unless authorized by law to do so, DWC cannot disclose the residence addresses of injured workers or their SSN. (See, conditions for disclosure at California Civil Code Section 1798.24.) Note that some case file information can be found by using the public information search tool on DWC’s Web site.
Q: What personal information can be found in a public information search?
A: The search tool shows limited case data, such as an injured worker’s name, case number, case status, court location, employer name, a description of events in the case, and associated dates. It may list the parts of the body that were injured, but it does not include medical records or any case documents. The information provided in this search tool relates solely to cases in DWC’s adjudication unit and is intended to help move cases through the court system efficiently. Any person requesting access to this information is required to identify themselves, state the reason for making the request, and instructed not to disclose the information to any person who is not entitled to it under Labor Code section 138.7.
Injured workers should be aware that, once an “Application for Adjudication of Claim” is filed, case file information, including case documents, may be disclosed under the California Public Records Act. Even in this circumstance, an injured worker’s address and Social Security number are not revealed to the requestor by the DWC.
Q: If I am filing a new case that has not yet been assigned a case number, do I still write “Unassigned” in the space for the case number?
A: No. Check the “Yes” box at the top of the document cover sheet indicating a new claim, then leave any spaces for the case number blank. EAMS will automatically assign a case number.
Q: We have received notices of hearings with the new ADJ case numbers and no reference to the old WCAB case number. How can we cross-reference the numbers?
A: Go to the EAMS Web site at www.dwc.ca.gov/eams and click on the new EAMS and legacy case number lookup tool. If you know either number, you can use this page to look up the corresponding case number.
Q: I am trying to determine the status of a case. After I fill out all the information on the general public search, I click on the search button and all the information disappears. How can I get the information I need?
A: The general public search will only show status on cases that have upcoming hearings. If the case is not active, you will not get a return and the entry will disappear. There is no way to save the entry information.
Please note that the general public search tool works on an “exact match” basis. That is, if searching for a case using the case number, the number must match exactly. For example, if the case number is ADJ0123456 you must enter it exactly that way. If you enter ADJ 0123456 you will not get a match. If you enter 0123456 you will not get a match. Also, the three-letter prefix for the EAMS case number (ADJ) must always be capitalized
Q: May either the claims adjuster or an unrepresented injured worker fill out and file the DEU form 102?
Q: Once EAMS is available and medical reports are scanned, is it necessary to continue to place medical reports in chronological order before filing at the district office?
A: The only requirements are those in regulations, not by EAMS software. It is always advisable to file reports in chronological order for ease of finding or referring to reports later. Remember, only medical reports relevant to the matter in dispute are filed if the case proceeds to trial and only relevant AME, QME and PTP reports are filed with the DOR.
Q: What training for external users is available?
A: Information and training materials is available on the EAMS "working in EAMS" Web site.
Q: I have completed the computer based training for external users. What do I need to do now in order to take the CBT certification test?
A: The certification is not currently required.
Q: May I continue to file the old forms and documents?
A: The division allowed a four-week transition period through Dec. 12, 2008, during which time legacy forms were accepted. Since that time, only forms posted on the DWC Web site are accepted.
Q: What about electronic forms?
A: Electronic filing is the fastest way to get your documents into EAMS. There are two ways to electronically file: e-forms and JET File. JET File is for large-volume filers, while e-forms are better for small to medium filers. The electronic filing page explains the differences between the two methods and how to get started.
Q: Can you tell me more about OCR forms?
A: External users may go to the DWC's Web site, fill out and print any of the OCR forms, then submit the paper form, along with supporting documents, via mail or in person, to the district office for filing. See DWC's OCR forms submission handbook for details on filing using OCR forms.
Q: Can you tell me more about e-forms?
A: E-forms are filled out within EAMS, which requires using a log-on and password for access. To be an e-form filer, you must agree to file all of your forms electronically. Alternatively, there are third-party filers who will file electronically on your behalf for a fee. See the e-form filers page for more details.
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: 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. Filers may also be able to use JET File to file electronically.
Q: Are all attorneys required to file electronically?
A: No, not at this time.
Q: What will happen if I continue to file documents using only the old legacy file numbers?
A: All existing cases will have both a legacy file number and a new EAMS case number, so whichever number you use will associate your documents to the correct file. It is strongly suggested that you use the EAMS case number if you have it. New cases will only have an EAMS case number.
Q: Legally, when will a document be considered filed in EAMS-when it is received by the district office or when it is scanned into EAMS at the district office?
A: It is filed when it is received by the district office ( regulation § 10230).Q: Can we still walk through DOR’s for approval at the local boards?
A:Yes. The district offices may continue to set conferences via walk-through DOR’s. The original language allowing walk-through DOR’s was taken out of the regulations in anticipation of the parties being able to schedule their conferences (MSC or otherwise) via e-form DOR, which allows the filer to pick a hearing date within the range of dates returned by the system. Since a relatively small number have that capability, it was felt best to continue to allow the walk-through DOR system that was in effect since January 2003. That procedure allows the filer to go to the district offices with their DOR’s (up to five DOR’s) and have those hearings set, with the filer then serving notice of the hearing to the parties to the case. The district offices have been advised that this means the hearings would have to be manually scheduled.
Q: When do I file medical reports and documents?
A: The regulations require parties to file with their DOR, any AME, QME or PTP reports not previously file with the DWC district office, which are relevant to the issue(s) raised on the DOR. No other documents may be filed with the DOR. The regulations require parties to bring and submit all relevant reports and documents, at the time of the MSC, should the issues not be resolved by MSC and the case is to be set for trial. Non-relevant documents are not to be filed with the district office. When documents must be filed is dictated by various sections of the Labor Code and new regulations. Regulation §10233 addresses part of your question, but you may want to consult your legal experts for further legal advice.
Q: The regulations state documents filed must not exceed 25 pages. What do I do if a medical report is over 25 pages?
A: Medical reports and proposed exhibits are exceptions to the 25-page rule. The 25-page rule does not include the document separator sheet and document cover sheet. The Documents subject to the 25-page limit are those that you prepare, such as Petitions.
Q: Is it mandatory to use the uniform assigned name for claims administrators and representatives?
A: Yes. If your firm or organization’s name exists in the database it must be used. If you are a claims administrator or representative and your firm or organization’s name is NOT in the database, you need to register promptly. See the UAN main page for instructions on doing this.
The use of uniform assigned names associates parties to the EAMS cases correctly and uniformly, thus avoiding unnecessary delays.
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: How can I know whether or not a claims administrator is listed in the uniform assigned names database?
A: Go to the DWC Web site at www.dwc.ca.gov/eams. Click on the link to the uniform assigned names database for claims administrator offices and representative offices under “working in EAMS.” This database can be used to identify whether a uniform assigned name exists for an administrator or a representative. The name may differ slightly from what you would expect it to look like. If you cannot find the name but think it is in the database, try searching by using the first three letters of the name you would expect to find and the ZIP Code.
If the name is not listed, you are advised to contact that firm and have them submit a request to be added to the database through the Central Registration Unit. Requests may be submitted by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax to (888) 822-9309.
The direct link to the uniform assigned names main page is http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/EAMS/EAMS-LC/EAMS_ClaimsAdmins_Reps.htm.
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.
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: Where do I use the uniform assigned name for my organization?
A: On all forms that have a field designated for claims administrator and in the “author” field of the document separator sheet if someone in your organization filled out the form or documentation that follows the separator sheet in the file.
Q: What if the form has a field for both claims administrator and insurance carrier information, such as the application for adjudication or the compromise and release?
A: Use the uniform assigned name of your organization in the claims administrator field and the formal name of the insurance carrier in the insurance carrier field. You must fill in the insurance carrier field on these forms, even if it is the same organization. For example, if the State Compensation Insurance Fund was submitting a C&R in a case, the filer would put the uniform assigned name, such as SCIF INSURED GLENDALE, in the field for claims administrator, and STATE COMPENSATION INSURANCE FUND in the field for insurance carrier.
Q: If I have 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: We are a self-insured, self-administered employer, so there is no insurance carrier or third-party administrator. Would we leave the carrier/administrator field blank and just fill in the employer?
A:No. Since you are self administered, you are a claims administrator and have a uniform assigned name (or should). A good example of this is Kaiser Permanente—their uniform assigned name (UAN) is KAISER OAKLAND.
When filling out the form you would check the self-insured box, fill in your UAN in the claims administrator field on the form, and in the author field on the separator sheet if you are the entity filling out the form that follows the separator sheet.
To find your uniform assigned name, check the UAN database. If you are a self-insured, self-administered employer and are not listed there, follow the instructions under “changing or adding a name to the database” on the UAN main page.
Q: We have several satellite offices, but mail is generated and received only at our main office. Do we need to add the satellite office locations to the uniform assigned names database?
A: Based on your description of the function of the various offices, you do not need to register the satellite offices. The purpose of registering offices on the uniform assigned names database is to ensure that related parties are properly associated to their cases in EAMS.
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.
Q: Is there an FTP site available to download the uniform assigned name files? If so, how do I gain access?
A: For those with FTP capability, the files are available via FTP to www.dir.ca.gov, anonymous login. Once you have logged onto the FTP site, request the file named EAMSClaimsAdmins.txt or EAMSReps.txt.
Q: The format of the uniform assigned names seems unusual. How are the names generated?A: To fit within the available space, names are often abbreviated. Law firm names include no more than the first two principals’ last names. Sole practitioners are listed by their first name and then last name, unless they use only their last name or always use their first initial. Uniform names have no punctuation or special characters, only capital letters A through Z and spaces. Each uniform name in EAMS is a combination of the name of the office and the city in which the office is physically located. Example: ACCELERATED CLAIMS IRVINE. Address standardization is in accordance with United States Postal Service (USPS) standards. Additional information about the naming convention can be found here.
Q: How many OCR forms are there?
A:There are more than 30 EAMS OCR forms and about the same number of e-forms. The OCR forms are available on the forms page of the DWC Web site.
Q: Where does the proof of service go in the packet when filing OCR forms?
A: The answer depends on how many forms or documents you are listing on the same proof of service. If you are listing only one form with no attachments, the proof of service will go directly under the form (as though it were part of the form) without a separator sheet. If you are filing a form with accompanying documents, and listing the form and the documents on a single proof of service, the proof of service will go at the end of the packet with a document separator sheet on top of it.
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: This is not subject to the 25-page limit. If possible, it is recommended that you submit only those portions of the transcript that are relevant to your position on the issues. A doctor’s or unavailable witness’ transcript is typically submitted in its entirety. If you intend to use the transcript for impeachment/refreshing purposes only, do not submit it as an exhibit until you actually use it at the time of trial, and then, only those pages used for impeachment/refreshing.
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: If we were able to duplicate the OCR forms using Microsoft Word, would the EAMS scanners be able to read the text? This would allow us to use our existing case management system to auto-populate the OCR forms.
A: It is the responsibility of the participants to ensure compatibility of their forms with DWC scanners. If your forms lack bar codes and do not line up exactly as the OCR forms available on the EAMS website, the scanners will be unable to extract the information submitted.
Q: Can we develop our own versions of DWC's forms that work in case management systems to autopopulate the forms?
A: Yes. DWC designed its forms to be "autopopulate ready." That means that while the DWC OCR forms can't be plugged into the autopopulate feature of your case management software as is, the version of the forms on the Web site can be tweaked to do just that. Your forms developer must test the forms it creates to be sure they will function with EAMS in an equivalent manner as the division's forms (court administrator rule 10228).
Q: I've heard that forms vendors have been working with DWC to make their forms EAMS-compatible. How can I get a list of approved software forms vendors?
A: See the approved OCR forms vendor list. Each vendor's software has been tested only for minimum functionality and compatibility with EAMS. Each software product is different and we recommend that you contact each vendor and select a product that best suits your individual needs.
Q: When will the final version of the OCR forms be released and will DWC release the technical specs for these forms to developers?
A: The final forms are posted on the forms page of DWC's Web site. Testing of the forms developers can provide to external users for use in case management systems will continue in DWC's forms testing lab until Jan. 1. DWC has posted a page for forms developers on the Web site, which contains all the information and technical specifications DWC has about the forms.
Q: Can we save filled OCR forms into our own computer system?
A: It is possible to save filled out EAMS OCR forms with all the information you entered, but it requires that you have a full version of ADOBE Acrobat (not just the free ADOBE Acrobat Reader) or similar software that allows saving the filled forms, installed on your computer. But from the DWC Web site alone, without additional software installed on your computer, you are only able to save a blank OCR form.
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 for more information.
Q: When preparing OCR forms for submission, I have noticed that they sometimes do not allow enough space for all of the information required. For example, there may be multiple carriers or multiple periods of temporary disability to be included on a C&R, but the OCR form does not allow space for multiple entries. Where do we enter the additional information?
A: If there is information that will not fit in the space provided, you may type up a separate document with the additional information and include it as an addendum.
Q: Is there a separate addendum page for each field, or should multiple fields overflow onto the same page?
A: A separate addendum per field is not required. Identify the page and section and then list the additional information.
Q: Is there an OCR form to use for addendums?
A: There is no official addendum form. You would prepare your own addendum any time you are unable to include all of the necessary information in the space provided. The addendum must meet the scanning specifications outlined in the OCR handbook. Place the addendum at the end of the document. No separator sheet is needed for an addendum as it is considered part of the document.
Q: The OCR Handbook says that special characters are not to be used on OCR forms. Since we have set up the OCR forms to populate from our claims system, many of the addresses entered will contain periods, commas, and number signs. Is this permissible?
A: No. Periods, commas, and number signs are considered special characters. They cannot be included in your OCR forms.
Q: Can I put periods in the fields for dollar amounts to show dollars and cents (such as the TD rate on the C&R form)? Or should I round to the nearest dollar?
A: You can put periods in the sections requiring a dollar amount. There is no need for rounding.
Q: Can special characters such as punctuation marks be placed in the text boxes and comment boxes on the OCR forms?
A: Yes. You may use punctuation in the text boxes and comment boxes even though periods and commas are considered special characters. The text boxes are the only places on the OCR forms where punctuation may be used. Keep in mind that you may also add an addendum to an OCR form if necessary, and addenda may include special characters.
Q: Should I list the old legacy file number on EAMS forms or the new EAMS case number?
A: All forms will accept either number. If the case is filed on or after Aug. 25, 2008 it will only have an EAMS case number. When a new case is opened in EAMS you will be notified of the new EAMS case number by your selected method of service: U.S. mail, e-mail, or fax. If it's a legacy case and you have both the legacy case number and the EAMS case number, it is strongly suggested that you use the EAMS case number. New cases will only have an EAMS case number.
Q: How do I prepare and file documents that require signatures, such as a C&R?
A: Click on the OCR C&R form from the DWC forms page , fill it out, print it using the Adobe print icon, circulate it for signatures, then mail it or hand deliver it to the district office. The order of the documents should be: Cover sheet, separator sheet, C&R and addendums, separator sheet, first supporting document, such as one AME report, separator sheet, another medical report, separator sheet, other supporting document, etc., separator sheet, proof of service.
Click here to see an example of how to set this file up for submission.
The batch of documents will be scanned in and routed to the appropriate judge for approval.
Remember, for settlements involving unrepresented workers, where the settlement documents are being submitted by the claims adjuster, you must include a copy of the panel QME letter sent to the applicant.
Q: Can we send in documents with signatures in blue ink, or do they have to be in black ink?
A: The scanning specifications indicate only black ink on white paper may be used. For more information on specifications, please go to the handbook.
Q: On the OCR C&R form, the drop down menu for body parts shows code 420 as the only option for back, but I need to limit the settlement to only the cervical and thoracic areas of the back. How would I do so on the form?
A: If you need to be more specific about the body part than the codes allow, you may enter additional information in the comment section at the end of paragraph nine.
Q: Will I still be able to get a settlement approved as a walk through?
A: If you wish to walk through a settlement and there is an existing legacy file or EAMS file, bring the settlement and supporting documents to the district office with venue. If a judge previously rejected the settlement or took testimony in the case, you must go to that judge for approval. Otherwise, you may take the settlement documents to an assigned walk through judge for review and approval.If the settlement is an opening document, it must be mailed or hand carried to the district office for scanning by 12 noon the day prior to the walk through. Parties may return the following day between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. or between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., and proceed to the assigned walk through judge for review and approval of the settlement.
Please see the OCR form filing handbook for further details.
Important printing note: The preferred method for most of the forms which will yield the best results from our testing of various printers from Adobe is: "Fit to Printable Area" with "Center and Autorotate" turned on and zoom factor at 96 percent. Other print options may not result in as good results.
Q: I am the defense attorney on an unassigned pro per case. I have an executed “Stipulations with Request for Award” on an OCR form that I would like to walk through next week. Would I also need to file a “Notice of Representation?”
A: No. If it is an unassigned case, the stipulations would be the opening document. You do not need a “Notice of Representation” on opening documents.
Q: We filed a DOR on a case and did not receive notice of a hearing date. However, when searching the EAMS Web site via the public search tool, we saw that the case has been set for a hearing. Why were we were not served with the notice of hearing?
A: A DOR will not get you added as a case participant. If you are not listed as a case participant, you will not receive any notices. You will need to file a “Notice of Representation” to be added as a case participant.
Q: How long does it typically take to become associated with the case and be made a participant after filing a “Notice of Representation?”
A: Please allow several days for a district office clerk to go into the file and add your firm as a case participant.
Q: We have a generic “Notice of Representation” letter saying that we have been retained as counsel for a particular insurance company. Can we continue to use this letter, or is there an OCR form we should be using instead?
A: You can use the letter. DWC will not be generating new OCR forms for all documents now in use. Selected documents have been modified to OCR format, and more may be modified in the future. Where OCR forms are not available, old documents may be used in their original form. Please continue to check the Web site for the most recent and updated information on forms and procedures.
Q: We are attempting to file an application for adjudication of claim regarding a death case and a petition for guardian ad litem, but are unable to find the specific OCR forms. Should we modify the existing OCR application form, or should we use the legacy forms? What is the best way to deal with forms that do not yet exist?
A: Not all legacy forms were turned into OCR forms. For those forms that weren’t you will use the legacy forms. The legacy forms still in use can be found on the forms page of the DWC Web site just below the OCR forms. You will still need to include the document cover sheet and separator sheets with any legacy forms you submit.
Q: We are attempting to file a petition for penalty under Labor Code section 5814, but have been unable to find the OCR form. Please advise where this form is located and how it is named in your system.
A: No OCR form exists for petition for penalty. You would prepare your own petition just as you have in the past, making sure that it meets the scanning requirements as indicated in the OCR handbook. You would also prepare a document coversheet and separator sheet to be placed on top of the petition for submission. You can access the OCR handbook.
Q: I’m looking for an OCR form to retract a DOR I filed. Is there such a form, or do I just send a letter?
A: There is no form. You would just submit a letter with a document coversheet and separator sheet placed on top.
Q: I am looking for the WCAB data entry sheet used when there is no case number assigned, but I cannot seem to find it in the OCR forms.
A: The data entry sheet is no longer necessary. The information it provided is now included on the OCR case opening documents.
Q: We have filed OCR applications with self-addressed stamped envelopes in order to be notified of the new ADJ case numbers assigned. We have received the date-stamped applications back, but they do not show the case numbers assigned to them. We have also tried to use the public search tool to find case numbers, but they are only shown if a case is set for a hearing. How do we find the case numbers?
A: When you send a self-addressed stamped envelope with an application, a copy of the application with the date stamp will be returned to you. This is the way copies were being sent back to parties prior to EAMS and the process remains the same. A Notice of Application will also be sent to the address of record with the newly assigned case number.
Q: I notice that the OCR DOR form has space for only one case number. If an injured worker has multiple cases, will I need to file a separate DOR for each relevant case?
A: No. A single DOR is sufficient if the document cover sheet lists all the cases to be included in the DOR. At the “Hearing Case” level, EAMS will automatically link all cases listed on the cover sheet as companion cases and designate the first as the “driver” case for the purposes of scheduling.
Companion cases you would select a “lead” case number and indicate it on the OCR DOR form. You then would indicate the companion cases on the OCR Cover Sheet-allows up to 15.
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.
Q: I am sending in a Request for Rating to the DEU for an old schedule rating. I have heard that reports automatically get rated on the new schedule unless otherwise specified on the request. Where do I indicate on the OCR form that I need an old schedule rating?
A: Requests for Rating are screened by the DEU raters, who determine if an old schedule rating is needed based on the medical record. It will expedite the process if you add an addendum by placing an additional sheet of paper behind the rating request with your processing comments. No separator sheet is needed as the addendum is considered part of the Request for Rating.
Q: If I have filed case documents for a particular unit but now wish to file documents with another unit, would this be considered a new case when checking the boxes at the top of the cover sheet? For example, if I have filed an application and have an ADJ case number and now want to request a DEU rating, would this be a new case? Or would I use the existing case number preceded by DEU?
A: Even though they are assigned the same number, the ADJ and DEU product delivery cases are two separate cases. In your example, the DEU case would be a new case if no DEU documents have been previously filed with the district office. You would check the “Yes” box to indicate a new case and leave the case number field blank. EAMS would then assign the new corresponding DEU case number.
Q: If I file multiple OCR forms or documents, do I need a document cover sheet for each?
A: The OCR document cover sheet is a six-page form that allows you to file forms and documents in up to 15 cases in a specific unit for one injured worker. The cover sheet tells EAMS who is filing the forms and documents, which file they belong in, and what to do with them, such as route them to a judge for review and action. Only one cover sheet is needed for each set of forms that pertain to that injured worker. A separator sheet is filed with each document to tell EAMS where the document is to be stored in the file, so that it can be retrieved easily without searching the entire file.
Q: If there are fewer than 15 cases, is it necessary to file all six pages of the document cover sheet?
A: No. Do not file blank pages with the cover sheet.
Q: For an existing case, is it necessary to list the date of injury and all body parts on each document cover sheet that is filled out?
A: No. Check the “No” box at the top of the cover sheet indicating that the case is not new. EAMS will already contain date of injury and body part information for existing cases. If the case is new, the “Yes” box must be checked at the top of the cover sheet and the date of injury and body parts must be listed on the cover sheet as well as the application.
Q: Is the date field on the upper left side of the document cover sheet used for the date the cover sheet is being prepared, or the date of a specific injury?
A: It is the date the cover sheet is being prepared. For a specific injury, the single date would go in the same field as the start date for a cumulative injury.
Q: Where can I find the list of three-digit codes for the body part drop down menus on the OCR cover sheet?
A: You can find the three-digit body part codes on the last page of the cover sheet and in the OCR forms handbook. These are the only body part codes EAMS will recognize.
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.
Q: There is a listing of district office codes with the document cover sheet, but I can’t find a place for them on the form. Where would the code be inserted?
A: The district office code is not used on the cover sheet. It is provided as a reference for use on other forms where it is required, for example on the “Application for Adjudication.”
Please note that when filing the “Application for Adjudication” the venue is determined by one of three options:
- County of residence of employee (Labor Code section 5501.5(a)(1) or (d).)
- County where injury occurred (Labor Code section 5501.5(a)(2) or (d).)
- County of principal place of business of employee’s attorney (Labor Code section 5501.5(a)(3).)
The district office code you type into the form must be related to one of the three options for venue selection.
Q: In the space for case number on the document cover sheet, can I just type in the numerals since the box below for unit to be filed on must be checked?
A: No. You should always enter the case number in its entirety, including the capitalized three-letter prefix. Example: ADJ1233433.
Q: In what instances would you select INT as the product delivery unit on the document cover sheet?
A: INT is the integrated case, which holds overarching information and contains the unit specific product delivery cases. As an external user, you will never select the INT case. You will select ADJ for an adjudication form or document, DEU for the Disability Evaluation/Rating unit, VOC for Vocational Rehabilitation, RSU for Return to Work/Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit, UEF for an Uninsured Employers Benefit Trust case, or SIF for a Subsequent Injuries Fund Benefit Trust case.
Q: Is it required that copies of the document cover sheet and separator sheets be included when serving filed documents on the other parties?
A: No. The cover sheet and separator sheets are for scanning purposes only.
Please see the OCR form filing handbook for further details.
Q: On the document separator sheet, does the author’s name need to match our uniform assigned name in the database (i.e. our firm name), or should it contain the name of an individual from our firm? What would we use as the document date?
A: The author field on the document separator sheet must match the uniform assigned of your firm, if your firm is the entity filling out the form that follows the separator sheet. For example, if you are an attorney filing a “Declaration of Readiness to Proceed” you would put the uniform assigned name of your firm in the author field on the separator sheet preceding your OCR DOR form. If you submit a medical report with that DOR, the author of that document is the medical provider who authored the report. You would fill in the doctor’s name in the author field like this: JOHN SMITH MD. Note, there are no special characters, no periods, commas, etc. Simply type in the first name, last name and the practitioner’s designation (MD, DO, PT, etc.) in all caps.
The document date is the date at the beginning of the document that shows when that document was written or produced. In the above example, on the separator sheet preceding the DOR, the date is the date you filled it out. The date on the separator sheet preceding the medical report is the date the report was authored.
Q: When filing a DOR and attaching an AME medical report, would we use the doctor’s name as the author on the separator sheet, even though the doctor does not have a uniform assigned name?
A: Yes. The separator sheet in front of the AME report should show the doctor’s name as the author. (Remember, no special characters!) If a form or document being submitted was not authored by a claims administrator or a representative, there will be no uniform assigned name, and you would use the name of the individual. Please refer to the OCR handbook.
Q: When submitting a deposition transcript as an exhibit, would the author on the separator sheet be our office or the court reporter's name?
A: Use the name of the deponent.
Q: I am submitting a Request for Dismissal of 132(a), but that title doesn’t appear in the document list for ADJ cases. What do I put on the separator sheet?
A: Use ADJ–MISC–TYPED OR WRITTEN LETTER. This title will generate a task at the district office so that appropriate action will be taken on your request. If you were submitting an unlisted document that does not require action, you would use ADJ-MISC-CORRESPONDENCE-OTHER.
Q: On the document separator sheet, is there a way to find the document title I am looking for without checking through all of the document types in the drop down menus?
A: When you open the document separator sheet, you will see two PDF links on the upper left side of the screen. Clicking on the bottom link will open a list of all of the document titles, showing the product delivery unit (ADJ, RSU, VOC, DEU), document type and document titles available for each unit.
You can only use the document titles that go with the document type and the product delivery unit into which you are filing the document. For example, if filing a document into product delivery unit DEU, under document type MEDICAL REPORTS, the document titles available are:
- DEFAULT QME (represented with DOI on/after 1-1-05)
- PANEL QME (non-represented all DOI)
- REPRESENTED QME (represented with DOI before 1-1-05)
- TREATING PHYSICIAN
Do not write in a document title that is not shown on the list for that document type and product delivery unit, as EAMS will not accept it.
Q:When preparing trial exhibits, do we scan all of the exhibits together as one package, or does each exhibit need its own separator sheet?
The district offices may request that the proposed trial exhibits have colored paper in between exhibits. The regulations require that exhibits be submitted at the MSC and/or trial with cover sheets and separator sheets.
Q: How would I identify a trial brief on a separator sheet? I do not see it listed under any of the document types.
A: The product delivery unit would be ADJ, the document type would be legal docs, and the document title would be “points and authorities.”
Q: When submitting a request for a DEU rating, is a separator sheet needed for each individual document in the package?
A: A document cover sheet should be placed on top identifying the DEU as the product delivery unit. This should be followed by a separator sheet and the DEU request form, then a separator sheet and the medical report to be rated. If more than one medical report is to be rated, a separator sheet should precede each report. DEU forms contain their own proof of service so you don’t need to add a separator sheet for that. You can find a sample of how to set up a DEU submission on the “Working in EAMS” page under “for OCR form filers.”
Q: A DEU rating is sometimes included in a settlement package. The settlement package is filed on the ADJ product delivery unit, but the rating is a DEU document and is not included in the ADJ drop down menus on the document separator sheet. Would the rating be considered a part of the settlement and not require its own document separator sheet?
A: Yes. The settlement package is filed on the ADJ unit under one coversheet. The DEU rating you want to be appended to the settlement document goes at the end of the settlement document itself, with no separator sheet. There is an example of how to set up a C&R on the “Working in EAMS” page under “for OCR form filers.” In that example, the rating would be placed just behind the settlement document, and before the separator sheet for the DWC-1.
Remember, separator sheets would still be needed for the other individual documents submitted as part of the settlement package, such as the medical reports.
When submitting multiple documents under one cover sheet, all the product delivery units must match the unit designated on the cover sheet. In other words, if you indicate on your cover sheet that you are filing into ADJ, the product delivery unit for all the separator sheets in that file must be ADJ. If you try to use a different product delivery unit on one of the separator sheets your submission will error out of EAMS.
Q: If the verification of signature and Proof of Service are on separate pages, should we include a document separator sheet for each?
A: No. Both documents would go under a single separator sheet, with “Legal Documents” as the document type and “Proof of Service” as the document title.
Q: On the document separator sheet drop down menus, there is no option listed for proof of service under the document title for DEU product delivery unit. Where can it be found?
A: For the DEU product delivery unit, the proof of service is included in the actual form itself, so you don’t need a separate proof of service, and therefore, no separator sheet is needed.
Q: When serving a notice of hearing, what should be used for the document type and title on the separator sheet? I could not find anything pertaining to a notice of hearing.
A: Document cover sheets and separator sheets are only needed for filing OCR forms with the district office. They are not needed for serving other parties.
Q: We received folded and hole-punched original C&R documents from the applicant’s attorney. Should we make copies of the documents for scanning, or should we send the originals as they are?
A: You may send a first generation copy, which is acceptable for scanning. Hold the originals for your file. Do not send hole-punched or folded documents, as they cannot be scanned and do not send originals, which will be shredded following scanning.
Q: Does EAMS identify duplicate documents?
A: No. The system will not identify duplicate documents within a file. Therefore, it will be important for those preparing files for scanning and indexing to look for and eliminate duplicates.
Q: Will hard copies of case files or documents be destroyed after being scanned?
A: Yes, but DWC will not destroy documents immediately. Legacy files, or those that currently exist, will be scanned into EAMS when the case comes up for trial. After scanning, the paper version of the legacy file will be kept for 30 days. Newly submitted paper documents will be kept for 14 days after being scanned into the system. Remember, EAMS is fundamentally the DWC's case management system so case participants will still need to keep their own files, which will contain documents beyond what the DWC needs to resolve a dispute.
Q: Can forms that are scanned through optical character recognition (OCR) software be printed?
A: Yes. Once OCR'd forms enter the system they are printable. But remember, OCR forms are paper, so they are printed prior to being scanned into EAMS.
Q: How will illegible documents be handled?
A: EAMS will attempt to gather all the available information from the form. However, sometimes human intervention will be needed to determine the contents of documents that are submitted in an illegible format.
Q: Does EAMS automatically redact sensitive information?
A: No. However, under EAMS there will be no change in the current process for handling documents filed along with a petition to seal: The petition will be routed to a judge who will make a decision and issue an order on the petition. The documents that are the subject of the petition will remain in the file unsealed until the judge has the opportunity to make a decision on the petition.
Q: Are old cases being scanned in EAMS?
A: Cases that are active (that is, where a hearing is scheduled or where other significant action is being taken) may be scanned into EAMS prior to the hearing. Inactive cases with no expectation of future action will not be scanned unless the case becomes active. All information currently in a legacy system (a current system of record, like DEU's system or the WCAB online system) will be converted and accessible through EAMS, but no documents associated with inactive cases will be scanned immediately after EAMS becomes active.
The division will decide what to do with very old inactive cases now at the State Resource Center (SRC) or in storage at local offices at some point in the future.
Q: What will happen if only part of the old legacy file (WCAB paper file) is scanned into EAMS and part is not scanned?
A: The old documents will remain as paper, unless or until the case goes to trial. In that case the new documents will be scanned into EAMS and only the paper documents from the legacy file that are offered as evidence will be scanned into EAMS.
Q: What if the district office scans my documents into the wrong case?
A: In the event of a district office error, regulation 10223 allows the district office to move the document to the correct case.
Q: If I am filing e-forms, will I need to fill out a separate cover sheet to go on the top of each e-form and document?
A: Not a "separate" cover sheet. E-forms are structured so that the first five tabs/pages of every form are the cover sheet. You only need to fill out the first tab/page of the e-form cover sheet unless you have companion cases. If you have companion cases, you will fill in only the number of cover sheet tabs/pages relevant to the number of companion cases you are filing.
For complete information about the e-filing process, consult the e-form filing reference guide.
Q: Will the information we enter on the cover sheet transfer information into the form we are working on?
A: Nothing transfers from the cover sheet to the form. Each page must be filled out separately and on its own.
Q: I just e-filed a substitution of attorney to be added as the defense attorney of record. When I checked the case in EAMS, it still shows the previous attorney as defense attorney of record. Will that make a difference if I file a Declaration of Readiness to Proceed?
A: Yes. You will have to wait until you’re added to the case by a DWC clerk before you can file the DOR. The time it will take depends upon the workload at the particular district office where you are filing.
Q: Is there a way to unselect a radio button in an e-form if you select one in error?
A: In the e-forms there is no way to unselect the radio buttons. You will have to start the form over again.
Q: After I submit an e-form, can I go back into the case to look at the e-form I submitted? If I added an attachment, where can I see it to make sure it was attached?
A: E-forms go through an automatic batch process, which is run four times per day. If they successfully make it through that process they'll show up in EAMS following the batch process.This means that if you file something in the morning you should see it in the file that afternoon. If you file later in the day, you should see it in EAMS the next business day.
You cannot see your attachment when you submit an e-form. If you see that it is listed and click “Done” it will be attached and uploaded. You will not be able to view it in EAMS until it goes through the batch process along with the e-form.
To view your e-filed documents after they make it through the batch process: From the ADJ case homepage, click on the tab at the top left of the screen to open the INT case homepage. Scroll down to “Case Documents” and click on the ADJ link. This will open FileNet, where all of the ADJ documents are stored. Just scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the document you wish to look at.
If your submission doesn’t make it through the batch process because of some sort of defect in the form, it will go into the unprocessed document queue where a DWC employee will either correct the error or notify you to correct the error and resubmit the batch. delete the documents if there are too many errors to fix and then send you a message stating why they were deleted or 2) fix the problem and reprocess the documents.
If she deletes them, you will have to resubmit the documents.
You can print the e-forms for service on the other parties by using the PDF print function at the top of the e-form. This is a new function that eliminates the need to print one tab at a time.
Q: Can we attach a legacy C&R with signatures to the e-form C&R?
A: Yes, you can if the signatures are dated prior to the passing of the regulations on Nov. 17, 2008. Documents circulated and dated after Nov. 17, 2008, must be filed in compliance with the new regulations.
Q: When we try to attach a signed C&R to the e-form C&R, there is no option for a regular C&R in the drop-down menu for legal documents. What should we select?A: Use ADJ – MISC – CORRESPONDENCE-OTHER.
Q: I want to e-file a signed stipulations with request for award. Can I just submit it as an unstructured e-form stip?
A: No. The unstructured e-form stip does not generate the proper workflow. A structured e-form stipulations with request for award will generate a task for the judge assigned to the case, letting the judge know there is a stip waiting for approval. The unstructured e-form stip only uploads a copy of the document into EAMS.
Q: I am trying to view and print a recent order and settlement documents but cannot find them in EAMS. I thought these documents were to be scanned into the EAMS electronic file. As an e-trial participant, shouldn’t I have access to them?
A: If the documents are scanned or uploaded into FileNet, you should be able to view and print them. An order could be sent out or entered in EAMS before it has been put into FileNet. If you see an order recorded in the events screen, but did not receive it and cannot find it in FileNet, you will need to follow up with the judge’s secretary.
Q: Time on: Will users get timed out of the system? If I am working on a DOR and waiting for my attorney to review it, how much time do I have before EAMS will kick me out and I will have to retype it?
A: Yes, users will get timed out of the EAMS system. If you are not actively working in EAMS you will be timed out after 15 idle minutes. If you are working on an e-form, the inactive time out is set to 30 minutes. The main system may log you out, but it will not remove the form you were working on. This means that if you get timed out of EAMS while on an e-form, you can log back in and finish. If you quickly log back into the main system it will take you back to where you were at that point.
You will receive a warning message before being timed out.
Experience is showing that the best practice is to be ready with all your documents, attachments, information, etc, at your fingertips so that when you are working on e-forms you don’t have to stop.
Make sure you are logged in when you submit the form. Remember to log out when you are finished filing in EAMS.
Q: The drop-down menu for the location field in the top right corner of the e-cover sheet has only one option—CTL. Will choosing this option on a DOR cause any problems regarding venue in scheduling a hearing?
A: Go ahead and select CTL for now, and your documents will be processed with the correct venue. The specific locations will be added to the drop-down menu at a later time, and then you will be able to select a specific district office.
Q: I am a lien claimant who attended a MSC where the judge ordered parties to submit authorities to conduct a phone conference between the judge and defendant. As an e-forms trial participant, how would I submit my points and authorities?
A: You would file your points and authorities through the unstructured e-form.
Case type: ADJ
Document type: LEGAL DOCS
Document title: POINTS AND AUTHORITIES
Q: As an e-filer, how would I submit my petition to join UEF?
A: You would prepare your petition as you normally would and save it to your computer. Then you would submit your petition as an attachment to an unstructured e-form.
Q: Can we e-file a Petition for Reconsideration? I am concerned about being able to prove the date of filing if the submission is rejected by EAMS for some reason. Would e-filing be the same as submitting the petition to the WCAB for those district offices that require hand filing of recons?
A: Yes, you can e-file a Petition for Reconsideration. It would be filed as an unstructured e-form.
- Case type: ADJ
- Document type: LEGAL DOCS
- Document title: PETITION FOR RECONSIDERATION
Print out a copy of your batch number as proof of the date the recon was filed. Check the case the following day to make sure it was processed.
Q: How do I edit information that was submitted incorrectly on the application? Can I fix it via EAMS or do I have to do a new filing? I tried to use the edit button but I don’t have sufficient access.
A: External users are not able to edit in EAMS. You will have to submit an amended application, which will trigger a task for a clerk at the district office to key in the information and make the corrections.
Q: I tried to change an address, but received an error message that the address could not be modified.
A: Even though there is a function available for modifying an address, it cannot be utilized by external parties except under very limited circumstances. You must submit your written request for change of address through the unstructured e-form area.
Q: When a case has multiple employers and insurers but the e-form only has space for one of each, how would the others be added?
A: An attachment (such as a Word document) would be created listing the additional parties, and would be added to the e-form as an attachment by clicking on the “add attachments” button. DWC staff will then enter the additional case participants manually in EAMS, just as they currently do with paper forms that do not have enough fields.
Q: The unstructured e-form has a field for the master case number as well as a field for the case reference. Which field does the ADJ number go in?
A: The ADJ number goes in the master case number field. The case reference field is used to list any companion cases in which you would like to file the same document.
Q: Can you estimate how long it will take an external user to fill in an e-form and attach a file? What is your estimate of how many forms an external user can file per day with one logon and one password?
A: For an experienced user, repetitively filing the same forms, with the user's business processes arranged so the necessary information is immediately available and properly organized, the estimate is 10 minutes per form, or six forms per hour, 90 forms per day, (as EAMS is available 15 hours per day), or 23,400 forms per year.
A conservative estimate, allowing for variations, different forms, attachments and such, takes this down to 15,000 forms per office, per year. Essentially this means that if the office organizes its business properly, one logon should be enough for forms filing.
Q: Receipts: How will an external user know which case the electronic submission sheet they receive pertains to, and what documents were filed with it? Is there a link between the batch identification received on this submission receipt and the case file?
A: The submission receipt pertains to a batch of documents. In e-forms, since the cover sheet is part of the form, and the attachments are also "part of the form," (connected through the metadata captured in the attachment screen, the electronic version of the separator sheet) the submission receipt will pertain to the form, its metadata, and its attachments, which together constitute a batch. Since multiple DWC forms cannot be stacked together in e-forms, each form-metadata-attachments combination will be a separate batch and get a separate submission receipt with a batch ID.
Since e-forms are submitted one form at a time, with the form-metadata-attachments combination constituting a batch, the submission receipt received immediately after submission of a form-metadata-attachment batch will be the receipt for that batch.
For EAMS purposes, there is no link between the batch ID and the case file-there is only a link from the batch ID to the batch filing. That is, if there's a problem with the filing and the batch of documents goes into the unprocessed document queue (UDQ), you'll need the batch ID to get the problem sorted out. Once the batch is successfully filed into EAMS, EAMS has no further need of the batch ID number.
However, YOU might need that batch ID for your own file as "proof" of your submission to EAMS. Therefore, you should print the batch submission sheet and if you want, add the case name/number by hand on your copy.
Q: We are a law firm participating in the e-forms trial, but were not able to bring up one of our cases in EAMS. When we log in with our username and password and enter the EAMS case number, we get a message saying “No case could be found that matched the search criteria.” We were also unsuccessful in trying to search by the legacy case number.
A: If you are not listed on the case as a case participant, you must file a “Notice of Representation” in order to access the file. Please allow several days for a district office clerk to go into the file and add your firm as a case participant.
I am in the process of sending out a stack of notices of representation, but I do not see a specific document for NORs in the e-forms. What type of document would I file?
A: Go to the unstructured e-forms to find the NOR. The case type is ADJ, doc type is legal docs, then you will see the notice of representation under the doc title. You will add your NOR as an attachment.
Q: We submitted our notice of representation over a week ago, but we are still not able to access or view the file.
A: Filing a NOR will assign a task to the appropriate person at the district office to link you as a participant to the case. As soon as that is done you will have access to the file. The time that may be required for the task to be completed depends upon the workload at that particular district office.
Q: If we have one injured worker with several cases, do we need to file a separate “Notice of Representation” for each case?
A: You may submit your notice as an attachment to the unstructured e-form, listing all the case numbers involved for that injured worker on both the notice and the e-form. This will ensure that your notice is filed for each case.
Q: I need to circulate a substitution of attorney form but I can't find one in EAMS.
A: There is no form for substitution of attorney. You will use your own form and file it through the unstructured e-form as an attachment. Go to the unstructured e-forms, use the case type ADJ, doc type legal docs, then you will see the substitution of attorney under the doc title. You will add your substitution form as an attachment.
Q: I filed a substitution of attorney via OCR form several months ago. I am now an e-filer but still do not have access to the case. Should I go ahead and e-file the substitution of attorney so I can be added to the case?
A: The district offices do have a backlog for scanning OCR forms, so it is possible that your document is caught up in the backlog. Due to duplication issues, e-filers are not allowed to re-file documents using e-forms when an OCR form has already been filed. Contact the particular district office where you filed the form to check on the backlog and the status of your OCR form.
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: If we send correspondence to a judge via e-filing, will the judge see it or know to look for it? Should we e-file a petition instead if we need a response from the judge?
A: Choosing typed or written letter under correspondence will generate a task for the district office to make the judge aware of the correspondence and the need for a response. Choosing correspondence–other will not generate a task and the judge would not be made aware of the correspondence.
Q: Tabs: Can I go back from tab six to tab one or is there any "back" function on the tabs to make corrections before hitting submit?
A: Yes. You can move back and forth between tabs before hitting submit on your e-form without losing any information you've keyed in. Shift + tab will take you back to the previous tab field. On e-forms, you may also click on the page/tab at the top of the form to go back to a previous page/tab.
Q: Submitting multiple attachments: Can I use control click to select and attach multiple documents to an e-form? If not, what is the purpose of the "all medical reports" designation in the drop down menu?
A: No, you can't use ctrl click to attach multiple documents. "All Medical Reports" is a category of document used for indexing in EAMS-it does not mean that multiple attachments can be attached with one attachment screen, which provides EAMS with one set of metadata. Each individual document requires its own metadata and therefore only one document at a time can be attached.
Q: We were told documents which are to be filed as attachments to e-forms, should be in a PDF format. Can we use 'TIFF' (Tagged Image File Format) instead?
A: Yes. During the e-forms trial, we will accept TIFFs, as well as JPEG, Word and other formats as attachments to e-forms. At some point in the future, when the e-forms regulations have been established, attachment formats may be limited.
If your submission doesn’t make it through the batch process because of some sort of defect in the form, it will go into the unprocessed document queue where a DWC employee will either correct the error or notify you to correct the error and resubmit the batch.
You can print the e-forms for service on the other parties by using the PDF print function at the top of the e-form. This is a new function that eliminates the need to print one tab at a time.
Q: Do I still need to serve the other parties with copies of the e-forms and documents I filed electronically through EAMS?
A: Yes. Parties are required by law to serve on all other parties, all documents and forms filed with the DWC district office. You can print the e-forms for service on the other parties by using the PDF print function at the top of the e-form. This is a new function that eliminates the need to print one tab at a time. It also allows you to save the e-form to your hard drive in a PDF format.
Q: We have a fully executed legacy C&R that we were going to scan and e-file as an unstructured e-form. However, the only C&R document title in the drop-down menu is for a walk through settlement. We do not want to do a walk through settlement—we want to e-file. How do we do this?
A: The C&R unstructured e-form is only to be used for walk-throughs, as it will not generate the proper workflow needed to process an e-filed C&R. You will need to complete the e-form C&R and attach the executed legacy C&R to that.
Q: We have a C&R that we would like to walk through. Should we e-file the fully executed document in advance before going to the district office for a walk through?
A:You prepare the OCR C&R and circulate for signature. Once it is returned, you scan it into your system – label it “Signed C&R.” Prepare the e-Form C&R, making sure you check the walk through box on the Document Cover sheet. Attach the scanned-in signed C&R and any other unfiled attachments necessary to establish the settlement is adequate. You must first verify that these documents are in the case documents before appearing before the walk through WCJ.
Q: I thought the stipulations with request for award and the compromise and release were considered opening documents. I was told that I would need to file an application and get a case number before I could do a walkthrough for either type of settlement. Why is an application necessary?
A: DWC has added the walk through radio buttons on the coversheets for all case opening documents, including settlement documents. You can e-file the settlement document, requesting a walk through. Once you have confirmed that the documents are in EAMS, you can appear the next day before the assigned walk through WCJ.
Q: I am trying to file an application for a deceased employee, but I cannot find the application for a death claim listed in the e-forms. Should I use the legacy version?
A: Yes. Use the legacy version of the form and submit it as an attachment to the unstructured e-form.
Q: DOR: We are attempting to e-file a DOR. We would like to file the DOR now and select the date later, but the system is not allowing us to do so. Can we submit a DOR without selecting a date?
A: In the e-forms environment you need to pick a date when e-filing a DOR. You will not be able to submit the DOR without doing so.
Q: DOR: I am e-filing a DOR but when I try to search for a date I get a message that says, "No suitable slot availability could be determined." I talked to the judge's secretary, who said they have already opened the calendar dates. Can someone help?
A: There are number of reasons you may receive this message. The best approach is once you receive this message, you promptly email the EAMSHelpDesk@dir.ca.gov so they can research the cause and then advise you how to best proceed. Be sure to include all necessary information.
Q: DOR: We are trying to e-file a DOR but keep receiving the following message when we try to submit it: "Scheduling this hearing will result in a case owner change. Only authorized internal user can change the case owner when a priority conference is requested or testimony has previously been taken."
A: The reason you are experiencing this problem is because the judge who was previously assigned to this case does not have any hearings available within the specified time period. You will get the error message above when you try to select a hearing date that is slotted with a different judge. You can try to resubmit your DOR at a later time or try to select from a wider range of dates, and hopefully the previously assigned judge will have some additional slots available.
Q: DOR: I am attempting to e-file a DOR, but the system will not allow me to schedule a hearing and gives me a message saying there is already a hearing date. I went into the hearing home page and noticed that a hearing for a date that has already passed still shows a status of “scheduled.” What needs to be done so that I can set a date for my DOR?
A: EAMS will not allow a hearing to be scheduled until the results of the previous hearing have been entered into the system, and this may not happen immediately depending upon the workload of the judge’s secretary. You would need to call the judge’s secretary at the district office and ask to have the information from the previous hearing entered right away in order to show the status as completed.
Q: As e-form filers, how do we check to see if any hearings are scheduled on a case in EAMS?
A: Go to the ADJ page in EAMS. In the navigation bar on the left hand side of the screen, click on the hearing case link. When the hearing case page comes up, click on the APP case number. This will take you to the ADJ hearing case home, where you can scroll to the bottom of the page and view any hearings that are scheduled.
Q: How do we reschedule or request a continuance on 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 attempted to schedule a hearing via e-form, but when we tried to submit we got a message stating: “A hearing can only be scheduled if the appeal is active or approved.” What does this mean?
A: This means that the case is inactive or closed. You will have to call the district office as ask them to reactivate the case.
Q: I am trying to schedule a hearing by e-form, but the system tells me I cannot do so because the case is archived. What needs to be done in order for me to be able to schedule the hearing?
A: You will need to send an email with the injured worker’s name and case number with “ARCHIVED CASE” in the subject line. Please send in only one email per day with all of the archived cases listed. For complete instructions on this process, consult the “DOR Error Messages” section of the e-form filing reference guide.
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: In the past we were able to submit forms even if certain information was not available. For example, we have entered “unknown” for last day worked, rate of pay, etc. When I try to submit e-forms this way, I am not able to continue with the form. I have even tried leaving the space blank, but I still cannot submit the form. What do you suggest when the information is not available?
A: If you are dealing with a required field, you are going to have to acquire the information and enter it or you will not be able to submit the form.
Q: We previously used words instead of numbers for the date and dollar amount fields on some forms. For example, last date a benefit was paid might be “ongoing,” or salary might be “maximum.” I have tried to submit e-forms using words instead of numbers, but have not been able to do so.
A: You will now have to supply specific and accurate information for the date and dollar amount fields.
Q: I am preparing an answer to application for adjudication of claim. On page three under paragraph one where it states “It is further alleged,” I need to enter two different weekly rates which do not have an end date because they are still continuing. EAMS does not accept the two rates in one field, nor does it accept “continuing” for the date. I would also like to include the total amount paid to date. How do I proceed with completing page three fully and correctly?
A: In the field for the rate, you will have to put just one of the rates, then include the other rate under paragraph two. Instead of using “continuing,” you will have to put the date you are filing the paperwork, then explain that benefits are continuing under paragraph two. You can include the total amount under paragraph two as well. You may also consider adding an addendum any time you have more information than you can put in the fields given.
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.
Q: Our firm has 3 offices participating in the e-forms trial, each with its own username and password. Since we sometimes cover for attorneys in our other offices, I was wondering if we are allowed to e-file for the other offices within our firm.
You cannot e-file for any of your firm’s other offices, as this would be a violation of your e-forms trial participant contract. Usernames and passwords are assigned for one office location only. This means you would not be able to process e-forms for any office other than your own location, even within the same firm.
Q: What is the e-forms trial and who may participate?
A: E-forms are electronic Web forms submitted one at a time over the Internet to file documents in EAMS. Attachments are submitted in electronic format as attachments to the e-forms, much like attachments to e-mail. E-forms are not paper forms. The EAMS paper forms are called OCR forms. For more information regarding EAMS e-forms and OCR forms please watch the EAMS decision point and forms submission demonstration on our Web site.
The objectives of the EAMS e-forms trial are to enable trial participants to file all of their documents in EAMS using e-forms beginning as soon as possible after EAMS goes live in order to reduce the amount of paper coming into the system, and to help DWC develop regulations for e-form filing.
Since you need a logon and a password to access e-forms, and logons will be issued to a filing location (not an individual) on a limited basis, you must agree to file all documents from that location into EAMS using e-forms and you must accept the contractual conditions of the e-forms trial to participate.
Once you've reviewed the decision point and forms submission demos, along with the e-forms trial agreement posted on the "working in EAMS" Web site, and have decided you'd like to be considered for the e-forms trial, send an e-mail to email@example.com with "e-forms trial participation" in the subject line.
Q: We are a collection company with representatives who represent a number of different lien claimants. May our lien representatives use their lien claimant client's ID to participate in one of the e-forms trials?
A: No. In EAMS, each office of your collection company will be registered as a participant under its own name and address, without any of its clients' names being registered as part of the registration for your collection company.
Any of your company's lien claimant clients may have submitted a separate request to participate in the e-forms trial under its own name and address. If accepted in the trial, each of the offices of each of those clients that submits 250 or more liens per year would be issued its own EAMS logon. The registration information for each of those clients would include the name and address of each such office. The name of your company would not be registered in EAMS as part of the registration of any of your client's offices.
Once the client receives the logon, if it wishes, it can authorize any of its employees or independent contractors to use that login, provided it has the legal authority to do so under HIPPA and so forth. Accordingly, if the client wanted to permit an employee of your company to use its logon, then that employee could file liens on behalf of that client.
If your company is the participant in the case, as a representative of a lien claimant, use of your company's logon will provide access to EAMS on all of your company's cases.
If your client is the participant in the case, then using the lien claimant's logon will provide access to all of that lien claimant's cases in EAMS.
Q: Is it too late to get into an e forms trial? I read the requirements and think I qualify.
A: The DWC has begun the trial but is still taking requests to participate in upcoming rounds. Requests for participation in the e-forms trial must be submitted on behalf of your entire organization or entire office. All filings from your office during the e-forms trial will be by e-form. Send an e-mail request to be part of a new e-forms trial: EAMS@dir.ca.gov and put "e-forms trial request" in the subject line of your e-mail.
Q: Today our office is supposed to be starting the e-forms trial. However, we are unable to log on. Please advise me as to what the problem might be.
A: Did your office did attend the mandatory e-forms trial training? If not, your account has not been enabled.
Q: We realized this morning that two people from our office had inadvertently logged into EAMS at the same time. The system allowed us both to log in and pull up a case file. Neither of us received an error message and we were both able to stay logged into the system.
A: When a party is approved to become an e-file participant, they are assigned a password and user name to be used only by the authorized administrator and their first alternate to file e-forms. While the system may allow multiple users to be logged on, this is a violation of the contract e-form trial participants sign. The EAMS e-forms trial coordinator is monitoring the user names and passwords to see that they are being used only one at time. If you have multiple users on the system at the same time, your office may be removed from the e-forms trial.
Q: How are mandatory settlement conference (MSC) dates selected?
A:Until e-filing becomes generally available, case participants may file a paper declaration of readiness to proceed (DOR). EAMS then selects the conference date and judge automatically. When e-filing becomes generally available, a case participant will be able to use the e-form DOR over the Internet and will have a choice of seven dates. If those are not acceptable, another three dates within pre-determined time frames will be offered. Only the party requesting a conference by e-form will have a choice of dates-not the opponent.
When setting dates, an individual participant's calendar will not be considered.
EAMS will attempt to set conferences before any previously assigned judge, unless that judge is recused, or is unavailable in the time frame designated for calendaring. If the assigned judge has taken testimony and is not available for a conference assignment within the pre-determined time frames in EAMS, the case will be set manually by the presiding judge.
Q: How does calendaring work in EAMS?
A: The process of filing a DOR for a conference is discussed under "How are MSC dates selected?" When a DOR is filed for an expedited hearing, these requests are sent by EAMS to a presiding judge queue for the manual setting of expedited hearings. At the time of a conference, when there is a request for trial, it is manually set by the calendar clerk.
Q: Can I file a DOR on a new case at the same time as I file the application?
A: No, you cannot file the application and declaration of readiness at the same time, as you could with the old system. You need a WCAB case number in order to file a DOR. You would have to file the application for adjudication of claim and wait for a case number to be assigned before filing the DOR.
Q: The OCR DOR form does not have a place in which to request a hearing in Chico or Marysville for a case with venue in Redding. How can I specify that I would like a hearing in Marysville or Chico?
A: Submit the DOR to the Redding district office, along with an attachment to the form specifying that the case is to be set in a particular satellite office. The Redding district office will then set the case at that location.
Q: Can continuances still be requested?
A: Yes. Continuances may be requested by filing the appropriate request.
Q: How are forms filled out by hand at the district offices, such as the MSC statement and the C&R forms, handled under EAMS?
A: Parties are provided with the new forms that they can fill out and submit, along with the requisite document cover sheets and separator sheets so they can be scanned in. Documents must be neat and legible so the data recognition feature in DWC's scanners can capture as much information as possible.
Q: Can a document be displayed for everyone to see in the hearing room?
A: Yes. The judge has more than one monitor in the hearing room so he or she can turn one around to display information to parties in the room.
Q: How are new exhibits brought into hearings?
A:The trial judge identifies the document on the record the same way it was done before EAMS. After the trial, the court reporter arranges to have the document scanned into EAMS and assigned a document number. A sub-set of that document number is used to identify that exact document in the minutes of hearing and summary of evidence and is marked as an exhibit.
Q: Our exhibits to be submitted at the time of MSC include the applicant’s personnel file. As a whole, the personnel file is very lengthy and even the excerpts we plan to submit exceed 25 pages. How can we submit all of the evidence we feel is necessary?
A: These types of documents, proposed trial exhibits, are not subject to the 25-page limit. If possible, please excerpt the records, submitting only those pages that are relevant to your position on the issues. Do include the photocopy service cover page.
Q: With EAMS, how would we include videos to be submitted as a trial exhibits?
A: You would include the video on your exhibit list as you normally would, but you will indicate that it is in your possession and that you will bring it to the district office at the time of trial.
Q: In the past, original medical reports and records were brought into court for hearings. Is this no longer the case? I was told not to submit any originals as they would be shredded.
A: Keep originals in your files because OCR documents are destroyed after scanning. A first-generation copy of the original is acceptable for filing. A document separator sheet must precede each medical report.
Q: I know that we are required to submit each medical report separately in preparation for an MSC. Is this true also for excerpts of subpoenaed medical records?
A: If you are submitting subpoenaed reports as evidence, you will submit only those reports that are pertinent and include a separator sheet for each report.
Q: What equipment is available in the hearing rooms?
A: Judges have computers with EAMS access and more than one monitor. The judge uses an additional monitor to display information to parties in the hearing room.
Q: How are conferences held in EAMS?
A: Conferences are held much the same way as before EAMS. Those who require a trial fill out a pretrial conference statement and list their evidence, in addition to the unique identifier number for each document. A mechanism is under development to provide parties with a list of documents in the electronic file and the unique document identifier number until there is widespread electronic file access for external users. Post-conference, this document will be scanned into EAMS and reside there for use at trial. For all other dispositions, parties will complete a paper pink sheet. The conference judge fills out the disposition and collect the pink sheets, which are scanned into EAMS, and the disposition recorded following the conference.
Q: Are the "Minutes of Hearing and Summary of Evidence" uploaded to EAMS?
A: Yes. All minutes of hearing, produced by court reporters after trial, are uploaded into EAMS.
Q: How is the five-pager (pretrial conference statement) used in EAMS?
A: The pre-trial conference statement is the same as it was before EAMS. It is completed in paper form and scanned into EAMS following the conference. At some future time, it may be possible to create an electronic pre-trial conference statement for use at conferences.
Q: Please confirm the following is the proper format for submitting a pre-trial conference statement with exhibits:
- Cover sheet
- Separator sheet
- Pre-trial conference statement
- Separator sheet
- P&S report of PTP
- Separator sheet
- Report of AME
- Separator sheet
- Deposition of AME
A: Your order is correct. Minutes of hearing and stipulations and issues may be prepared before the hearing. If not, fill out the OCR forms legibly at the district office, hand printing the information in block letters. You must bring copies of the original evidence you list on the stipulations and issues with you to the MSC. The copies must be brought to the MSC in proper format, including cover sheets and document separator sheets. The only evidence that should be listed is evidence relevant to the issues to be submitted at trial. Retain the originals of all evidence in your possession, as the copies submitted to the court will be destroyed after scanning. Oversized exhibits and tangible evidence should be brought to the MSC and presented to the judge who will assign a party to retain custody of the items and bring them to trial.
Q: What equipment is required?
A: EAMS was designed so that, once you have access to the full electronic environment, all you need to access EAMS is a computer with an Internet connection and Web browser (Internet Explorer 6.0 or above).
Attorneys and claims administrators-especially those participating in the e-forms trial-will find it useful to have a scanner to facilitate the submission of documents.
Because electronic filing and EAMS access is not yet generally available, parties not participating in the e-forms trial may wish to defer purchase of equipment they intend to use for EAMS unless they presently have another need for the equipment.
Q: Is it necessary for our legal staff to have a laptop and/or Internet wireless access when they attend hearings? We heard one company purchased laptops and Blackberries with a wireless modem feature for each of its attorneys. Do you think this is necessary?
A: No. While the court is handling hearings and trials utilizing the electronic EAMS file, parties may continue to use their paper or computer files in whatever form they choose. There will be a printout list of the documents filed in the case, available to the parties at the time of the MSC and trial. Attorneys will not be required to interact with the DWC's EAMS file during a hearing. Therefore, it is not necessary to have specific hardware or software available during a hearing.
Q: Printers: Do you have a list of approved printers that are compatible with the new scanners?
A: No. Whether a particular printer prints out forms that will work in the district office scanners can currently be determined by testing the printed draft forms in our forms test lab, or, (after the internal users go live 8/25/08), by filing OCR forms printed from your printer at the district office.
Important printing note: The preferred method for most of the forms which will yield the best results from our testing of various printers from Adobe is: "Fit to Printable Area" with "Center and Autorotate" turned on and zoom factor at 96 percent. Other print options may not result in as good results.
Q: How are documents served by the DWC?
A: Documents are served by U.S. mail, fax or e-mail. Registered participants to a case have the option to choose one of these methods of service, but no more than one. If service by U.S. mail is selected, the person assigned to this task in the various units will print the documents and send the mail in much the same way as it is done now. If one of the other methods is selected, EAMS will perform the service when requested. For companion cases, service will need to be performed in each separate case.
Q: Is it required that copies of the document cover sheet and separator sheets be included when serving filed documents on the other parties?
A: No. The cover sheet and separator sheets are for scanning purposes only.
Q: Is there an OCR proof of service form on the Web site, or do we continue to use our own proof of service form?
A. There is no proof of service OCR form. You will continue to use your own except in cases (such as DEU forms) where the proof of service is part of the form itself.
Q: Where do I put the proof of service when I file an OCR form, such as a DOR?
A: If you are filing only one form, with no supporting documents, the proof of service is placed just under the form, without a separator sheet between the form and the proof of service. If you are filing a form with one or more supporting documents, you will place the proof of service last with its own separator sheet on top.
Q: How will method of service affect timing of appeals?
A: Parties will be able to specify a preferred method of service, either by fax, email or U.S. mail. There will be a new rule governing calculation of time for filing appeals.
Q: How does EAMS handle documents requiring judges' signatures?
A: Judges will be able to sign documents using electronic signatures.
Q: Are there standardized forms and templates in EAMS?
A: Yes. New optical character recognition (OCR) forms are now posted on the forms page of the DWC Web site. If you are an OCR form filer, you will use these forms or a form designed by your developer that works in an equivalent fashion. If you are an e-forms trial participant you will use Web-based e-forms to submit your documents.
DWC serves parties via their preferred method of service on new standard templates.
Q: How do we file letters and petitions that are not listed on the OCR forms page of the Web site? Do they have to be double spaced? Are cover sheets and separator sheets still needed?
A: If you file letters or documents that are not EAMS OCR forms (such as certain petitions), submit the documents with the proper OCR cover sheet and separator sheets, in a condition which is compatible with the district office scanners. The documents should be double-spaced except for captions, quotes, etc. You will find additional information in sections III and VIII of the OCR handbook.
Q: What happens if documents are filed improperly?
A: If a case participant discovers that a document is filed improperly, there will be procedure to correct this mistake. If information about a document filed in EAMS were discovered to be incorrect, any internal user could correct this error.
Q: Does EAMS log events (proof of service)?
A: Yes, EAMS maintains a chronological log of events in a case.
Q: When a hearing date is selected while completing the e-form “Declaration of Readiness,” will the WCAB serve the notice of hearing or will the party requesting the hearing be expected to serve notice?A: A hearing notice will be generated by EAMS that will be sent out to the case participants.
Q: How do I change or add a name or address in the EAMS database?
A: 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, a uniform naming convention was created by the DWC for claims administrators (insurance carriers who self-administer claims, third party administrators, and self-insured self-administered employers) and representatives (attorneys and non-attorney representatives). Uniform names for claims administrators' offices and representatives' offices are assigned by the DWC’s Central Registration Unit (CRU). Changes or additions of name, location, mailing address, telephone, e-mail, fax, or preferred method of service must be submitted to the CRU on letterhead with an authorized signature. Requests may be submitted by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax to (888) 822-9309. The new assigned name or information will be posted within 10 business days of receipt of the request.
Before EAMS go-live, DWC pre-registered approximately 300 claims administrators' offices and 1,400 representatives' offices, accounting for approximately 80 percent of current case volume. Claims administrators' offices and representatives' offices that are not pre-registered must promptly register with the CRU to obtain uniform names for filing forms in EAMS. Requests for new office names or name changes must conform to the naming convention.
At this time the CRU is registering only claims administrators' offices and representatives' offices. Other types of case participants must notify the district office of changes of name, mailing address, or telephone number.
Q: When a party edits their address information in EAMS, how will other parties be notified?
A: Editing your information with the CRU only constitutes notice to the DWC/WCAB of the change. EAMS does not serve notice on other parties for you. All case participants must notify all other case participants of any change of name, mailing address, or telephone number
Q: Is there someplace in EAMS I can tell what each party's preferred method of service is?
A: EAMS only reflects a party's preferred method of service from EAMS to them. Parties can enter into agreement with each other to use a method of service other than U.S. mail (for example, if a party prefers service from EAMS via e-mail, you could enter into an agreement with that party to also serve them by e-mail). However, if no agreement exists, service between parties or entities must be made by first class mail.
Q: What changed in EDEX when EAMS went live?
A: The division worked with all the state's EDEX vendors to ensure the majority of services provided through EDEX could continue. However, because the system from which EDEX gets data changed, some of the data flowing through EDEX also changed.
EDEX is essentially a conduit through which system users, such as lien claimants, health care organizations, attorneys and others get information about cases before the DWC/Workers Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB). Before EAMS went live, EDEX provided data contained in the WCAB online system to individuals and groups who used it in their case management functions and to file liens in workers' compensation cases. When EAMS went live, the data contained in the WCAB online system was moved over to EAMS and the WCAB online system was turned off. Because the system the division uses to house and manage its data changed, and because the laws have changed since EDEX was initially implemented, the way in which data is relayed through EDEX and the data available to some EDEX users also changed.
Q: What exactly is different?
A: EDEX subscribers have been separated into two groups (governmental entities and private entities) with different levels of access to information. EDEX vendors are responsible for separating their clients into the two groups. Additionally, EDEX vendors are required to provide certification of each "governmental entity" client, otherwise the default return criteria for requested information will be at the level of "private entity."
This distinction is made because under the law governmental agencies have the right to more information than private entities.
Governmental entities-state and local agencies such as cities and counties-may search the system using Social Security numbers and will receive those numbers, along with injured worker addresses, with information received through EDEX.
Private entity subscribers may search the system using Social Security numbers, but the information returned from EDEX now contains only the last four digits of the Social Security number, along with ZIP Code and date of birth. The injured worker's residence address is no longer provided to private entity subscribers. The subscriber receives the name and address of the injured worker's attorney for service of liens and supporting documentation. If the injured worker is represented, the injured worker's law firm information will be provided. The absence of law firm information will indicate the injured worker is unrepresented.
Q: Any other changes?
A: Yes. Following the transfer to EAMS, the ability to file an electronic notice of intention to file a lien in EDEX ceased and lien claimants now need to file perfected liens at the district offices once they find the case in EDEX.
This was required by state law and regulation prior to the move to EAMS, but generally was not done correctly. For lien claimants, this means first billing the insurance company/employer, waiting the statutory period of time for the bill to be paid timely, then filing the lien with documentation of the services provided if the insurance company/employer does not pay the bill. Having the perfected lien will allow the lien claimant to access the adjudication file information, will allow the lien claimant to receive service from DWC of all hearing dates, will allow the judge in the case to decide the claim, and will move cases more expeditiously through the system with minimal required continuances or docket impact. Having the address of the injured worker's attorney will allow the lien claimant to serve the lien.
DWC is also working with the WCAB to revise regulations related to liens to clearly state that, when the case in chief has been settled, the lien claimant doesn't have to serve the injured worker. In this way, there is no need to have the injured worker's residence address.
DWC expects that most potential lien claimants will now:
1. Identify the case on which they want to file through EDEX
2. Bill the employer/insurance company for the services
3. Monitor the significant case events through EDEX, and then
4. File their lien and documentation at the district office.
Q: What about EDEX subscribers who are not lien claimants?A: Subscribers who are not lien claimants, such as defense law firms, carriers and others, may continue to receive significant event notification through EDEX as private entity subscribers. Now that the new interface is in place, new case opening information does not contain injured worker addresses and only contains the last four digits of the Social Security number. Any subscriber, whether governmental or private, can request hearing notices on specific cases through EDEX, since only the case participants automatically receive hearing notices from DWC through EAMS.
Q: Are there regulatory changes associated with this?
A: Yes. WCAB regulations section 10770 has been amended to state that if an applicant is represented the lien only needs to be served on the attorney of record and not additionally on the applicant.
Once the perfected lien is filed, the lien claimant is a party to the case and may obtain the injured worker's residence address (which will be needed for service on an unrepresented applicant).
In order to reduce service requirements overall, regulations state that if the case has been settled by C&R, or the applicant's case in chief has been completely resolved, the medical provider does not have to serve the injured worker or their representative because, by that point, they are completely out of the case. By doing this, DWC reduces the number of parties that need to be served in the lien process.
Q: How does DWC envision providing support to EDEX subscribers around these changes?
A: DWC established a working group with all the EDEX vendors to develop the new interface and to educate subscribers about the changes. DWC continues to provide updated information on this Web site. If you have questions on this process, please submit them to your EDEX vendor, who will pass them on to DWC.
Q: Is the injured worker’s signature required on the lien?
A: The EAMS forms do not contain a signature line for the injured worker. The appeals board had made a deliberate decision to take the injured worker signature line out, since the injured workers were not signing the liens in the past, and there was (and is) no requirement that a lien claimant sign the lien as consenting to the allowance of the lien against his/her compensation.
Q: How do I file a lien on an existing workers' compensation case?
A: File a "Notice and Request for Allowance of Lien" through EAMS, either by using an OCR form or an e-form if you are an e-forms trial participant. If filing using OCR forms, mail your OCR forms set up properly with supporting documents and the necessary cover sheets and separator sheets to the district office. If using e-forms attach supporting documents to the e-form and submit them electronically.
Q: Does the OCR “Notice and Request for Allowance of Lien” still need to be filed on green paper, or can it be submitted on white?
A: No it does not need to be—and should not be done—on green paper. Per the regulations and the OCR forms handbook, all OCR forms are to be submitted on white paper in order to achieve the best scanning quality possible.
Q: I am participating in the e-forms trial. Where can I look to make sure the liens that I e-filed actually made it into the EAMS system?A: You will go to 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 “ADJ.” This will pull up the File Net window, where you will scroll to the bottom of the page to locate the liens you filed.
Q: Can we file an application and a lien together for a new case?
A: No. You must file the application first, then after the case number is assigned you may file your lien.
Q: We need to file a lien on an existing INT (integrated) case which does not have an ADJ product delivery case number. What would we need to do in order to open an ADJ case and file our lien?
A: There are three documents which are case opening documents for ADJ:
- Application for Adjudication
- Stipulations with Request for Award
- Compromise and Release
Even though there is an existing INT case number, you will have to submit an Application for Adjudication in order to open the ADJ product delivery case.
Q: Is there any way I could retrieve the DOI from EAMS?
A: If you have access to the case, you can go from the ADJ homepage to the integrated homepage by clicking on the tab at the top marked INT. On the INT homepage, you will see the DOI near the middle of the page. If you do not have access to the case, then you will not be able to get that information from EAMS yourself.
Q: As a lien claimant, we regularly serve copies of invoices as exhibits at various district offices. May we group all of the invoices together with a single separator sheet?
A: No, you are not to file invoices at the district offices in that manner. The district offices do not want invoiced bills, only itemized statements. Invoices are to be submitted as potential exhibits at the time of hearing.
Q: What is the difference between an invoiced bill and an itemized statement?
A: An invoiced bill would list details of each individual charge, whereas an itemized statement would show a combined breakdown of the charges covering a particular period of time.
Q: We were previously informed that only the itemized statement is to accompany the lien, but the owner of our company and lead counsel has advised us that he wants us to serve all medical billing that pertains to the lien. Since our medical bills can be in excess of 25 pages, our staff submits the entire bill with a separator sheet inserted every 25 pages.
A. A separator sheet does not negate the 25 page rule. Documents in excess of 25 pages cannot be submitted without prior approval from the presiding judge at the district office. Only itemized statements are to be submitted with the lien. Any additional billing documentation may only be submitted as a proposed exhibit at the time of hearing.
Q: We have a lien trial upcoming and have already filed the executed stipulations and issues and the proofs of service showing that the exhibits were filed on all the lien claimants. The exhibits are voluminous—more than 300 pages. Are the exhibits to be scanned individually, with a separator sheet for each?
A: You must bring copies of the original evidence you listed on the stipulations and issues with you to the MSC. You should have listed only evidence relevant to the issues to be submitted at trial. The copies must be brought to the MSC in proper format, including completed cover sheets and separator sheets.
Retain the originals of all evidence in your possession, as the copies submitted to the court will be destroyed after scanning. Oversized exhibits and tangible evidence should be brought to the MSC and presented to the judge who will assign a party to retain custody of the items and bring them to trial.
Q: What is the correct way to withdraw a DOR we recently filed on a lien? We settled the lien and no longer require assistance from the WCAB. Is there a specific form, or do we just write a letter?
A: There is no OCR form for withdrawing a DOR. You would type a letter requesting this as you did prior to EAMS. You will have to include a document cover sheet and separator sheet when you submit the letter to the WCAB. The letter would be filed under ADJ-MISC-TYPED OR WRITTEN LETTER. If the case is set for hearing, you may file your request to OTOC using ADJ-LEGAL-REQUEST FOR ORDER TAKING OFF CALENDAR.
Q: I do not always have the date of injury (DOI) available when I file a lien, and have been unable to file a lien using the e-forms without it. Our firm uses EDEX to access the information needed for lien filings, and often the DOI is not recorded. Is there any way to file an e-form lien without a DOI?
A: At the top of the lien e-form and the e-form cover sheet, there are two radio or option buttons (the round variety that you click in) for specific injury and cumulative trauma injury. When you select one of the radio buttons, the other is automatically deselected, and you will have to enter a date in order to file the form. Once one of the radio buttons has been selected, you will not be able to deselect it and will only be able to toggle back and forth between them. If you DO NOT CLICK ON EITHER RADIO BUTTON, you will be able to file your form without entering a DOI. If you click on one of the radio buttons for specific or cumulative trauma and do not have a DOI, you will have to start over on a new e-form.
Q: How do I file a DOR as a lien claimant?
A: Follow the instructions in the OCR forms handbook if you are using OCR forms. If you are an e-form filer, follow the instructions in the computer based training (CBT). Remember that you need to file a perfected lien, which means first billing the insurance company/employer, waiting the statutory period of time for the bill to be paid timely, then filing the lien with documentation of the services provided if the insurance company/employer does not pay the bill.
Filing the perfected lien will allow you to access the adjudication file information and receive service from DWC of all hearing dates. It will also allow the judge in the case to decide the claim, and will move cases more expeditiously through the system with minimal required continuances or docket impact.
DWC expects that most potential lien claimants will:
1. Identify the case on which they want to file through EDEX
2. Bill the employer/insurance company for the services
3. Monitor the significant case events through EDEX, and then
4. File their lien and documentation at the district office.
Q: Can I save an OCR form to my computer after I have filled in all case specific information on the EAMS Web site?
A: It is possible to save filled out EAMS OCR forms with all the information you entered, but it requires that you have a full version of ADOBE Acrobat, or another software package that will allow this (not just the free ADOBE Acrobat Reader) installed on your computer. But from the DWC Web site alone, without additional software installed on your computer, you are only able to save a blank OCR form.
Q: Can I save my lien e-form as a file?
A:Yes. The form now allows you to save it on your hard drive as a PDF and also print the entire document at one time from this “PDF print” feature.
Q: Will I get notified in the future when a case is opened in EAMS for a particular SSN?
A: EAMS doesn't provide that functionality but EDEX does. You can use the services of an authorized EDEX vendor for this.
Q: Can I start a batch search in EAMS for a list of SSNs to find existing cases?
A: No. You can use EDEX for batch inquiries.
Q: How would I file an e-form lien when there are multiple carriers? The form only allows one carrier to be entered.
A: You will submit an attachment to your e-form lien. Use the unit ADJ, the document type MISC and the document title “CORRESPONDENCE – OTHER."
Q: When I’m amending a lien filed prior to the implementation of EAMS using the OCR forms, what do I use for the date of original lien? Would it be the date I originally filed my old lien or the date I am now filing?
A: If you have a pre-EAMS lien on file (filed prior to 8/25/08), you must file a new OCR original lien before anything else can happen. When filing this new original OCR lien form you DO NOT put a date in the field “date of original lien.” This field is ONLY used when filing an amended lien. Once you have an original OCR lien on file you can file subsequent changes to the lien as amendments. When you do this, you will use the date you filed your original OCR lien (the date you put on the separator sheet preceding your original lien form) in the “date of original lien” field. Be sure the information you provide on the amendment exactly matches what was on your original lien form (except the lien amount, of course) so that your document does not error out of EAMS.
Q: The top of the OCR document cover sheet asks, “Is this a new case?” My understanding is that a lien claimant would only check the yes box when actually filing an application for adjudication. Therefore, our staff would always check the no box when filing a lien form. Please advise if this is correct.
A: You are correct. If a case does not yet exist, the lien claimant will have to file an application for adjudication to create a new case before filing the lien.
Q: How do I withdraw a lien?
A: The current practice of submitting a letter to withdraw a lien remains unchanged.