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Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC)

Electronic Adjudication Management System (EAMS) Insider

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Issue 9 January 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

We’ve all heard a lot about change in recent times, and that certainly applies to EAMS in 2009. This will be a transitional year for the system.

After getting EAMS up and running in August of last year, DWC started making a list of improvements we wanted to make. Some of these came via comments and suggestions from external users, for which we thank you—your feedback has been valuable.

The goal is to make the system easier to use. Up to now, everyone has been concentrating on learning how to use EAMS. Going forward, it will be how to make EAMS better.

What does this mean for you? It may mean that some business procedures will change and some new processes introduced. How will you know when things change? We’ll keep you informed. Just subscribe to the DWC newslines if you haven’t already (email DWCNewsline@dir.ca.gov) and check the EAMS Web site often for the latest news. And of course the Insider will always provide updates.

e-Forms update

Round 6 of the e-forms trial begins this month, with an introductory webinar on Jan. 23. This webinar is mandatory for newcomers, as it will guide them through the process. But people who already are enrolled in the e-forms trial can participate as well. It’s a good refresher and an opportunity to have your questions answered.

There are currently more than 110 offices participating in the e-forms trial. E-forms are Web forms that allow users with a logon and password to submit forms and supporting documents directly into EAMS over the Internet.

Annual Educational Conference: EAMS will be one of the topics at the 16th Annual DWC Educational Conference, which has been scheduled for Feb. 26-27 in Los Angeles and March 9-10 in Oakland. Employers, attorneys, claims professionals, rehabilitation counselors, medical providers and anyone interested in California’s workers’ compensation system will find valuable information. The conference will feature a variety of workers’ comp experts from DWC, other state and public agencies, and the private sector.

Information about the conference is posted at http://www.dir.ca.gov/DWC/educonf16/DWC_EducationalConference.html

  • The conferences are produced in association with IWCF, which is a non-profit corporation dedicated to workers’ compensation research and education.

Liens update: DWC has found that amended liens filed in EAMS are not going to the proper slot in the system. At this time please file all liens as original, even if they are amended. Thank you for your patience. We hope to resolve this problem soon.

  • E-Forms participants should also file all amended liens as original liens at this time.

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.

For the full selection of questions and answers, visit www.dwc.gov/eams and click on frequently asked questions under “EAMS information.”

Here are the FAQ updates made between Dec. 15, 2008 and Jan. 7, 2009.

Topics covered in this FAQ update include:

Working in EAMS
The OCR document separator sheet
Filing e-forms
Calendaring and scheduling
Hearings

About working in EAMS:

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.

About the OCR document separator sheet:

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?  If so, what is the document type and title?

A: Each exhibit gets its own separator sheet. The document title depends on the nature of the exhibit. When filling out the separator sheet, choose the product delivery unit (most likely ADJ), then the document type (in ADJ it’s legal docs, liens and bills, medical docs or misc) that best matches your exhibit, then the appropriate document title. For example, if the exhibit is a medical report, the document type would be medical docs and the document title would be AME reports, QME reports, or all medical reports, depending on what type of report it is. If the exhibit is a deposition transcript, the document type would be legal docs and the document title would be deposition transcript. Be diligent in your attempt to find the appropriate document title. If all else fails you can use the misc document type, with the title “correspondence-other.”

The copy of your exhibits to be served on the other party does not need to include the OCR cover sheet 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. 

Corrected 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 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.

About filing e-forms:

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: The message you received means the judge you are trying to schedule the hearing with already has a full calendar and does not have any hearing slots available. You will have to wait until the district office adds more slots and then try to schedule the hearing for another day.

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: 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 call the district office and ask them to un-archive the case. This action will make the case available for you to schedule a hearing within about two hours.

About calendaring and scheduling:

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.

About hearings:

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: Medical reports are the only documents that can exceed 25 pages without special permission from the judge.

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: 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.

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