Electronic Adjudication Management System (EAMS) Insider

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Issue 12 March 3, 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

EAMS has been operational for more than six months now, and many people have gotten used to the new ways.

Others, however, are just now finding that things have changed at their local Division of Workers’ Compensation district office. They have lots of questions: about forms, about filing, about looking up case information online, about uniform assigned names. Often they have looked for answers on the DWC Web site and didn’t find what they were seeking, or didn’t know where to look.

For them, here’s a quick tour of the Web site, and where to find answers:

The main EAMS page is at www.dwc.ca.gov/eams. It includes a brief description of EAMS, with the latest news and developments at the top of the page.

Below the “What’s new in EAMS” category is the “EAMS information” banner, where you can find more background information. But the next category, “Working in EAMS,” is where the majority of newcomers can find the answers they are seeking.

Click on the “More information about working in EAMS” link to go to the page itself.

Here at the top you’ll find the basics: the different types of filing options (EAMS filing method timeline), and a presentation that helps you decide whether to file e-forms or OCR forms. There is also a separate presentation on successful filing, and additional materials focusing on OCR forms and e-forms.

Once you have decided on which filing method is appropriate for you, scroll down to the following categories. OCR form filers will want to study the filing handbook and some of the submission examples on the Web site before downloading the blank forms and learning how to fill them out.

Those interested in filing their forms electronically should proceed to the next section, “For e-form filers.” Regulations have not yet been adopted for e-filing, so it’s conducted on a trial basis, but the transactions are real and they count. Review the computer based training (CBT) and fill out the application and agreement if you are interested in being an e-filer.

That covers filing. Next up is “Other tools for working in EAMS.”

What if you are an attorney or claims administrators and you’ve been told you need to have a uniform assigned name in EAMS so that you can be informed of case developments? Submit your name, location, mailing address, telephone, e-mail, fax, or preferred method of service on letterhead with an authorized signature by e-mail to cru@dir.ca.gov or fax to (888) 822-9309. The new assigned name or information will be posted within 10 business days of receipt of the request. The database is searchable. (Other case participants must notify the district office and other case participants on changes of name, address or phone number.)

Lastly, you can look up cases by using the EAMS number and legacy case number database. The general public search tool includes other criteria, such as name, date of injury and employer name, to find information on active disputed cases. You won’t find every case in there, because so many records are archived, but the database will be growing over time.

That’s the EAMS primer. Look around the Web site and check out the assets. Have a question that wasn’t covered here? Email EAMS@dir.ca.gov.
One business process update to note:

Unrepresented injured workers will be allowed to use the old legacy forms during a transition period ending March 16, 2009. After that date, OCR forms will be required. The earlier February deadline has been extended.

e-Forms update

The next webinar is scheduled for Friday, March 13—our second Friday the 13th webinar in as many months. We didn’t plan it that way, honestly. Anyway, that February 13th session is documented here on our Web site. Topics included the S Signature and where to put it on different e-forms. The PDF includes a wealth of examples, so if you need to see where the S Signature goes on a Declaration of Readiness to Proceed, or whether it’s needed on a Request for Dispute Resolution, check it out.
E-form trial participants will soon be getting an email with the phone number and web link for the March 13 webinar.

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 Feb. 5-25, 2009.

Topics covered in this FAQ update include:

About working in EAMS
About filing OCR forms

About working in EAMS:

Q: I requested some public records and they came back with case numbers beginning with INT.  What does INT mean?

A: INT stands for Integrated Case Product.  The INT case is like an umbrella case under which all of the product delivery cases are located.  The INT case can be set up when there has been no application filed.  The number on the INT case will be the same as the number on the product delivery cases.  For example, if an application has been filed there would be ADJ case with the same number, or if a rating has been done there would be a DEU case with the same number.

Q: On which screen would I find the date of injury for a case in EAMS?

A: The DOI is found on the INT case home page.  From the ADJ product delivery home page, click on the INT tab on the upper left.

Q: What is the process for searching a Board file to see what documents have already been filed?   

A:  From the ADJ product delivery home page, click on the tab on the upper left to open the INT case home page.  Go down to the case documents and select ADJ.  The FileNet page will open, and you will be able to view all of the uploaded documents from the list at the bottom of that page.

Q: How can I find the date an application was filed for a case that was filed prior to EAMS?  I looked in FileNet, but the application was not there.

A: From the ADJ product delivery home page, click on Events in the left hand navigation bar.  To locate the date, scroll down until you find an event for the filing of the application.  You will not be able to see the actual documents if they were filed prior to EAMS, but you will be able to determine the date a certain event took place.

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.

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About filing OCR forms

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: 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 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.

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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