Electronic Adjudication Management System (EAMS) Insider

Eams logo

Issue 14 June 17, 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

We’re back! Insider took a hiatus while things were relatively quiet on the EAMS front, and we’ll now come out monthly rather than every two weeks. Look for Insider in your email around the 15th of each month. Now, on to the fresh developments.  

First, there’s the matter of the backlog at the DWC district offices. Although EAMS is designed to streamline the processing of documents, it will take a while before we can process all of the old paper forms that predate EAMS.

DWC has formed a backlog task force to travel to each office to help scan old documents so that the office staff can concentrate on their current work without falling further behind.  We’re already seeing positive results. This month, the task force will be visiting Long Beach and Van Nuys to help those offices reduce their paper load.

At the same time, the task force will be setting aside documents that are filed incorrectly, or that have other errors that are preventing them from being entered into EAMS. These documents will be returned to their senders, who will be asked to fix the errors and resubmit them. DWC is not doing this to be punitive or embarrass anybody. These documents take extra time to process, and until now our staff has fixed them to get them into EAMS. But fixing takes additional time, and often the errors have been repeated in new filings. It’s all part of the learning process, and we will be doing one-on-one training with some filers to give them additional help beyond what has been provided in the external user training sessions.

Many mistakes are easily avoided by following some key steps. Some common errors and their cures:

  • Not using your Uniform Assigned Name (UAN). Please double-check your UAN here. There are separate search fields for claims administrators and representatives.
  • Typographical errors. Typing in an incorrect date of injury or misspelling an injured worker’s name will cause problems. Please check forms before submitting.
  • Not using the correct document titles. Here is a complete list, easily downloadable to your computer for quick reference. Please make sure titles match the corresponding document type as well.

DWC knows that the forms can be a challenge and is looking at making changes so that they will be easier to complete. In the meantime, filers will want to familiarize themselves with the OCR paper forms filing handbook and the other tools for OCR filers. This will ensure your documents get into EAMS as timely as possible.

DWC will also be working with forms vendors to correct formatting errors. The division will publish a list of vendors whose forms are shown, through a testing process, to work in an equivalent manner to DWC-created forms, so that consumers can make informed decisions.

Second, folks are often asking when we are offering another OCR forms training. There is one session coming to the DWC Van Nuys district office on Friday, June 19. The session will be from 10 a.m. until noon in the auditorium at 6150 Van Nuys Blvd., Van Nuys, CA 91401. The space is limited to 70 attendees, so be sure to arrive early. Ask the presiding judge’s secretary to add your name to the sign-up sheet. By the way, these sessions are always announced in a newsline ahead of time. If you aren’t yet a newsline subscriber, send an email to DWCNewsline@dir.ca.gov to get updates.

Finally, three items from the district offices:

1. 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 only e-filers currently have that capability, DWC decided 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 offices will manually schedule the hearings.

2. 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.

3. 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.  There is no requirement that a lien claimant sign the lien as consenting to the allowance of the lien against his/her compensation.

e-Forms update

The 200-strong e-filers are averaging 4,000 successful batches per week. This number has been fairly steady for a while, so thanks for your consistency. However, some documents are still ending up in the UDQ. Please make sure you are using your Uniform Assigned Name in all filings. Also, if new people have joined your office, they will need to be trained on EAMS procedures. The training PowerPoint is a good place to start.

There are no webinars scheduled at the present, and the FAQ updates were completed in March. (You can find them here.)

If you have applied for the e-forms trial and have not yet received an answer, please be patient. We hope to start a new round soon.

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