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Electronic Adjudication Management System (EAMS) Insider

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Issue 11 February 9, 2009

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

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

What you need to know

For a quick primer on EAMS, point your browser to www.dwc.ca.gov/eams. There, you will find a project overview, fact sheet, FAQs, OCR forms and sample filings, blogs from DWC Judges Colleen Casey and Bob Norton, application demos and a glossary. Even if you have visited the Web site before, be sure to check back often for updates, “how to” guides and other useful tools.

EAMS updates

There are two business process updates to note:

1. The district offices may accept the proposed trial exhibits ONLY with colored paper in between exhibits rather than document cover sheets and separator sheets.

The regulations require that exhibits be submitted at the MSC and/or trial with cover sheets and separator sheets. However, the hearing reporter is scanning the exhibits in using legacy separator sheets (an internal use document) and will replace the production sheets with legacy sheets prior to scanning them. It was decided that the offices may have the exhibits submitted with color divider sheets that will be replaced with legacy separator sheets by the hearing reporter. This will eliminate the extra work by the parties to fill out the document cover sheets and separator sheets and allows us to avoid more complaints from externals about doing work for nothing. We will continue to examine this issue.

2. The district offices should not reject liens for filing based on a failure to sign the lien.

Some district offices have been rejecting liens that do not contain the signature of the injured worker. However, the 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.

In other news, the testing lab for OCR forms has been closed. However, there is a possibility that another scanning station will be made available in the future for the testing of forms. If you are interested in testing your forms, please email EAMS@dir.ca.gov and let us know.

e-Forms update

The next webinar is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 13—hope you aren’t superstitious—with another following two weeks later on Friday, Feb. 27. The last webinar was been posted on the DWC Website for reference purposes. It’s an excellent refresher for those moments when you need it.

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

Here are the FAQ updates made between Jan. 21 and Feb. 4, 2009.

Topics covered in this FAQ update include:

About working in EAMS
About injured worker-specific questions
About filing OCR forms
About filing e-forms
About lien claimant-specific questions

About working in EAMS:

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.

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About injured worker-specific questions

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 send in the old form or do I have to use the new OCR form? If I have to use the OCR form, can I send it in with handwritten information?

A: Unrepresented injured workers will be allowed to use the old legacy forms during a transition period ending February 17, 2009. After that date, OCR forms will be required. If you do not have access to a computer or typewriter, you 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.

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About filing OCR forms

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.

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About filing e-forms

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.

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: 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 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: 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: 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: 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.

Update image 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: 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: 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. You would only use this option if you were planning to go to the district office the next day and have the stip approved as a walkthrough.

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.

Update image 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. If you are concerned that the district office may want the recon to be filed by hand, you may call them and check on their policy.

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: 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.

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About lien claimant-specific questions

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:

  1. Application for Adjudication
  2. Stipulations with Request for Award
  3. 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.

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How you can help

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

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

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

EAMS Public Information Officer Peter Melton
510-286-7100