Issue 31 April 18, 2011
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.)
Since JET File was unveiled at DWC’s Los Angeles and Oakland education conferences in February and March, and written about in last month's EAMS Insider, interest has been building in this new electronic filing method.
Questions arrive daily via phone calls and emails: When will JET File be ready? Can anybody use it? How does it differ from e-forms? How much will it cost? Where is the sign-up list?
Here, then, is a quick update on JET File and electronic filing, which is the fastest way to get documents in EAMS.
A new page on the DWC Web site devoted to electronic filing outlines the differences between JET File and e-forms (DWC’s original electronic filing method, which is going strong after more than two years).
Each electronic method has distinct advantages. For those wanting to file dozens of declarations of readiness to proceed simultaneously, JET File is the best choice. But if you want to set your own schedule by choosing a court date on a DOR, e-forms are the way to go (JET File will send you the first available date). Other considerations must be weighed, including which forms you want to file: Initially, the six most frequently filed forms will be available through JET File but all forms are available using a logon to file e-forms.
In general, JET File is best suited to large offices and e-forms for smaller offices. JET Filers will have three separate “JET stream” options to get documents into EAMS:
The cost of JET File will vary depending on which JET stream you fly on. Building your own transmission process requires technical skills. Vendor software prices will likely vary with the features that are offered, as will third party services. More information will be available as we get closer to the summer launch of JET File.
If you have questions specifically about JET File, a new web page is dedicated solely to this new process. It outlines how to JET File, which forms can be filed, and a host of information and links. This page will be updated frequently, so we recommend bookmarking it and checking it often.
Testing for JET File starts May 2 and will continue for about a month. Testing will put the new transmission method through its paces to ensure a smooth launch in June. We hope you’ll be ready to sign up then.
Web site changes
A newsline March 24 announced that DWC stopped accepting some pre-August 2010 OCR forms on April 1. The forms were updated in August 2010 but the division continued to accept the old versions for a limited time, which has now ended. If you have downloaded forms to your computer, please check to see that they are up to date.
E-forms trial update
There’s a lot of excitement over JET File (as noted above) but e-forms should not be neglected. The e-forms trial has been time tested and provides a lot of value to those who want a more hands-on approach to the electronic file. Not only can e-filers choose a court date for a DOR, but they also can see what’s in the case file when they’re a case participant. They have a dedicated help desk for assistance during business hours.
There are three steps to signing up to be an e-filer: Sign the e-forms trial agreement, take the computer based training (CBT), and participate in training via Webinar upon acceptance into e-forms trial.
The agreement says that in order to be an e-filer, you must file all of your forms electronically—no paper OCR forms. (E-form filers will also be allowed to JET File, however, since that is also electronic.) The CBT is a training module that can be completed at your own pace. You can do part of it, sign out, and then come back to it later. Contrary to what the Web site says, there is no test at this time. The CBT is mostly to give you a general idea how EAMS and the e-forms process work. Once accepted into the e-forms trial, you will be required to participate in a webinar. The webinar gets down to specifics on how to file and use EAMS, and gives participants the chance to ask questions and get answers from EAMS experts. All e-forms filers are required to attend the webinar to receive a logon.
More participants are added to the e-forms trial every two months. If you are interested in joining, June is the next opening. Send in your signed agreement to get on the list and then take the CBT.
One of the reasons e-forms is ideally suited to smaller offices is that each office is given one logon, and can only use it on one computer at a time. This does not mean that only one person can use it, but it does mean that only one person can use it at a time. Offices can divide the workload among different employees by time of the day so that everyone knows what time they’re supposed to be on EAMS. Or there’s the “restroom key” approach, where whomever has the key can use EAMS; when they’re done they put the key back so that someone else can use it.
There’s a bit of a learning curve with e-filing, but those who embrace it will never go back to paper. If you have additional questions about the process, email EAMS@dir.ca.gov.
Judge Colleen Casey’s latest blog concerns verifications for documents filed by lien claimants.
|EAMS Insider is published every month 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