Electronic Adjudication Management System (EAMS) Insider

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Issue 15 July 23, 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 month, 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 project details, 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. The main page was recently updated.

EAMS updates

California’s budget crunch has had an impact on most state services, and the Division of Workers’ Compensation is no exception. As a result, all 24 DWC district offices are now closed on the first, second and third Friday of each month, except for this month (July) during which offices were closed on the 10th and 17th and will also be closed on the 24th. This link gives the complete schedule through mid-2010.

The district offices are not scheduling hearings on Fridays, but if you are planning on dropping off a filing it doesn’t hurt to double-check dates and find out ahead of time whether the office will be open on a given Friday. Here is a link to each office and its contact information.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your understanding.

  • Good news about the paper backlog at the district offices: It’s disappearing at a rapid rate! Thanks to the efforts of our district office staff with assistance from the backlog task force, which has been traveling the state to help scan old documents so that the office staff can concentrate on their current work, the inches of paper have been steadily declining at almost every office. Here is a newsline about the progress being made, with a chart showing each office. And this means that if you have filed applications in the past few months and did not receive a hearing notice, you should be getting word soon.
  • The district offices note that they are starting to see filings, particularly in settlement cases, where some of the forms have been faxed and copied in order to send them to other parties before they sent to DWC. Our scanners are not able to read faxed and copied sheets, and consequently your forms will not make it into EAMS, resulting in delays. Please use only original forms in all filings.
  • Back in January, DWC hosted a public meeting in Oakland to discuss ways to improve current filing methods and increase access to EAMS for external users. This meeting resulted in a working group being formed to create a second generation electronic filing method (e-forms are the first generation), which will expand access to EAMS while meeting state requirements for technology projects. In May, the larger group broke into smaller working groups, which are tackling the second-generation filing method, as well as providing input on access policy and suggestions on ways to improve the current filing methods—OCR forms and e-forms.  

The EAMS Access Project is led by a project manager, Dave Cohen, and includes extensive involvement by external users. The project team is simultaneously gathering electronic filing requirements through its external user working group; working on a stress test for EAMS to determine the maximum capacity of the current system; and determining how best to provide access to the system in ways that meet the real needs of external users. In addition to its external user working group, DWC will gather information through surveys of users. Which leads to our next item:  

This link will take you to a custom survey that will tell us how you use EAMS and what improvements you would like to see. The survey will be available until Aug. 31. Special thanks to Gina Garitson of Liberty Mutual, who did the lion’s share of work putting the survey tool together!

  • The last edition of Insider had the following item:

District offices may accept the proposed exhibits FOR TRIAL ONLY with colored paper in between exhibits rather than production cover sheets and separator sheets. The regulations require that trial exhibits be submitted at the MSC and/or trial, with production cover sheets and separator sheets. However, the district offices will accept exhibits submitted FOR TRIAL ONLY with color divider sheets that will be replaced with legacy sheets by the hearing reporter. This will eliminate the extra work by the parties to fill out the production sheets. DWC will address this matter in any future regulations.

This led to some questions from external parties whether that meant they were only to bring trial exhibits to trial, and not the MSC. All parties must comply with the regulations on filing at the MSC, which require that the proposed exhibits be identified at the MSC, and be submitted at the MSC unless otherwise ordered by the judge.

e-Forms update

The latest training webinar was held on July 10, and has been posted on the EAMS Web site.

The topic was common mistakes that can send your documents to the unprocessed document queue (UDQ). Some key points:

  • Check the case in EAMS for name and date of injury. Use what is in EAMS, not what you think it should be.
  • Make sure the case number is correct.
  • One injured worker per batch, one product delivery unit per batch. ADJ means only ADJ documents. DEU means only DEU documents. You can’t mix and match in a batch.
  • Do not check the companion case box unless you have at least one companion case to list, and you must have a main case number. Do not list companion cases on applications, amended applications or answer.
  • If you have a case number, do not list the SSN, type of injury, date of injury or body parts.
  • Always use the Uniform Assigned Names. Use your own and the UAN for all other entities on the e-form. Look them up in the online database.

The link above has many other suggestions for keeping your documents out of the UDQ. One of the advantages of e-filing is speed, but that can only happen if your documents actually make it into EAMS.

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