Electronic Adjudication Management System (EAMS) Insider

EAMS insider image

Issue 8 December 1, 2008

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. The main page recently had a makeover, and it’s much easier to find what you are looking for. Check it out!

EAMS updates

Now that the regulations are in effect, and OCR forms have become mandatory, things will start to change at DWC’s 24 district offices.

The current situation is one of transition: from legacy forms to new OCR forms, from thick paper files to electronic files, from hearing rooms without computers to courts with not just computers but multiple monitor screens. Everyone—and that includes DWC employees—is trying to navigate the intricacies of a new electronic system while at the same time keeping things moving forward. It’s a delicate balancing act at times, but movement toward the goal of a nearly paperless system is well under way.

The division’s priority this year was to launch EAMS. Now that it’s up and running, the next step is to troubleshoot and refine the system. We are continually making updates, which is why it’s so important to continue to check the DWC Web site for updates.

Unlike past editions of the Insider, we don’t have OCR forms updates for you. Instead, we offer new training sessions for filing those OCR forms and documents, a new blog about the forms, and some new FAQs.

Thank you for your patience during our “reconstruction.” If you need help, or have a question, email the EAMSHelpDesk@dir.ca.gov.

e-Forms update

People have asked if the e-forms trial is still accepting applications. The answer is yes, but we don’t yet have a schedule for when the next round will begin, so please be patient! Interested parties should send an email to EAMS@dir.ca.gov with “e-forms trial” in the subject line. Include your office name and contact info.  

There are currently more than 100 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.

Training for OCR filers: DWC will conduct four training sessions for external users on filing optical character recognition (OCR) paper forms and documents in EAMS. The first two sessions will be Dec. 9 in Van Nuys—one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The third session will be Dec. 15 in Sacramento. The fourth session will take place Dec. 16 in Oakland.

These sessions are intended for all users filing OCR forms.

“Regulations requiring the use of OCR forms became effective Nov. 17 and the transition period from the old forms to the new ends Dec. 12,” said DWC Regional Manager Joel Harter. “This is where the rubber meets the road for filers.”  
Space for the sessions is limited, especially in Van Nuys. DWC is taking reservations for the sessions on a first come, first served basis. The details:

Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2008
9 a.m. to noon (morning session)
1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (afternoon session)
Van Nuys State Office Building – auditorium
6150 Van Nuys Blvd.
Van Nuys

Monday, Dec. 15, 2008
1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Employment Development Department - auditorium
722 Capitol Mall

Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2008
2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Elihu Harris State Building – auditorium
1515 Clay Street

Those wishing to attend one of the training sessions must send an e-mail to eams@dir.ca.gov and put “RSVP EAMS OCR Form Training Session” and the date they will attend in the subject line. For those interested in attending the sessions in Van Nuys, please specify whether you are interested in the morning or afternoon session. The body of the email should contain the name, organization and email address of the person requesting a seat at the session. Once the space is filled, reservations will be closed for these sessions.

The DWC has posted training materials, including an OCR form filing handbook, on the “Working in EAMS” page of the EAMS Web site. The page contains a wealth of information for OCR form filers and those attending the training session should review all the available materials to prepare them to get the most out of their session.

  • The OCR paper forms filing handbook was updated Nov. 24. Please update your version if necessary.

New Blog post: DWC’s Colleen Casey, a judge in our San Francisco office, has written a new entry for her EAMS blog about “Top 10 FAQs re the OCR Forms.” You can find it here: http://law.lexisnexis.com/practiceareas/Workers-Compensation-Law-Blog/Workers-Compensation/California-EAMS-Top-10-FAQs-re-the-OCR-Forms

New Web feature: “A closer look at EAMS” will debut soon on the EAMS Web site. It will provide some interesting facts about how the system functions and how your documents make it from submission into EAMS and how they are processed. Look for it this week.

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 Nov. 17 and Dec. 1. Please note that, in addition to the new FAQs listed below, the FAQs on the Web site have been updated to reflect that fact that the system is live and the regulations are now effective. Because these changes did not affect the meaning of the questions and answers—they simply reflect a change in the system’s status—we have not included those updates in this summary.

Topics covered in this FAQ update include:

Filing in EAMS
Filing OCR forms
The OCR cover sheet
Filing e-forms

About filing in EAMS

Q: May I continue to file the old forms and documents now that the regulations have become effective?

A: The division is allowing a four-week transition period through Dec. 12, 2008, during which time legacy forms will continue to be accepted. Additionally, forms requiring multiple signatures will be accepted in legacy form as long as the filer establishes that circulation began prior regulations requiring OCR forms becoming effective on Nov. 17. In most cases this requirement can be shown by a signature dated prior to Nov. 17.Unrepresented injured workers will be allowed a three month transition—until Feb. 17, 2009—from legacy to OCR forms use. Additionally, unrepresented injured workers without access to a computer or typewriter can fill in the OCR forms by printing using block letters.

About filing OCR forms

Q: Some forms have limited space and I am not able to fit in all the information that is needed for some cases.  Is there any way I can add more information?

A: Yes. You may type up a separate document with the additional information and use it as an addendum.

Q: Is there a specific form for an addendum, or a specific format that it should have?

A: No. There is no specific form or format, but the addendum must meet the scanning specifications outlined in the OCR handbook. 

Q: Is there a separate addendum page for each field, or should multiple fields overflow onto the same page?

A: A separate addendum would be used for each page needed, and would include the overflow from all fields on that particular page.

Q: Where is the addendum placed when the form is filed?  Is it a separate document with its own separator sheet, or is it just added at the end of the form being submitted?

A: When attaching an addendum to OCR forms, place the addendum right behind the sheet you are adding to with no separator sheet.

Q: I am the defense attorney on an unassigned pro per case.  I have an executed “Stipulations with Request for Award” on an OCR form that I would like to walk through next week. Would I also need to file a “Notice of Representation”?     

A: No. If it is an unassigned case, the stipulations would be the opening document.You do not need a “Notice of Representation” on opening documents.

Q: We filed a DOR on a case and did not receive notice of a hearing date.  However, when searching the EAMS Web site via the public search tool, we saw that the case has been set for a hearing.  Why were we were not served with the notice of hearing?

A: A DOR will not get you added as a case participant. If you are not listed as a case participant, you will not receive any notices. You will need to file a “Notice of Representation” to be added as a case participant.

Q: How long does it typically take to become associated with the case and be made a participant after filing a “Notice of Representation”?

A: Please allow several days for a district office clerk to go into the file and add your firm as a case participant.

Q: We have a generic “Notice of Representation” letter saying that we have been retained as counsel for a particular insurance company. Can we continue to use this letter, or is there an OCR form we should be using instead?

A: You can use the letter. DWC will not be generating new OCR forms for all documents now in use. Selected documents have been modified to OCR format, and more may be modified in the future. Where OCR forms are not available, old documents may be used in their original form. Please continue to check the Web site for the most recent and updated information on forms and procedures.

About the OCR cover sheet

Q: I am trying to file an OCR “Application for Adjudication” on an injured worker who has more than five body parts involved. The document cover sheet only allows me to list five body parts. Where do I show the additional body parts? 

A: The body part codes contain options that allow for multiple parts. For example, code number 148 is: Face - multiple parts any combination of above parts (which refers to other face-related body part codes list above number 148 in the list). Using these combination codes allows you to list multiple parts. Additionally, code 700, which allows for multiple parts where more than five major parts are involved, can be used in the fifth position (only) of the body parts list on the cover sheet. You can provide more specific details in the comments or explanation section of the form itself. If you need to, as a last resort, you can attach an addendum to the form you are submitting and list the additional body parts and details there.

About filing e-forms

Q: We are a law firm participating in the e-forms trial, but were not able to bring up one of our cases in EAMS.  When we log in with our username and password and enter the EAMS case number, we get a message saying “No case could be found that matched the search criteria.”  We were also unsuccessful in trying to search by the legacy case number.

A: If you are not listed on the case as a case participant, you must file a “Notice of Representation” in order to access the file. Please allow several days for a district office clerk to go into the file and add your firm as a case participant.

Q: If we have one injured worker with several cases, do we need to file a separate “Notice of Representation” for each case?

A: You may submit your notice as an attachment to the unstructured e-form, listing all the case numbers involved for that injured worker on both the notice and the e-form. This will ensure that your notice is filed for each case.

Q: We have a fully executed legacy C&R that we were going to scan and e-file as an unstructured e-form.  However, the only C&R document title in the drop-down menu is for a walk through settlement.  We do not want to do a walk through settlement—we want to e-file. How do we do this?

A: The C&R unstructured e-form is only to be used for walk-throughs, as it will not generate the proper workflow needed to process an e-filed C&R. You will need to complete the e-form C&R and attach the executed legacy C&R to that.

Q: We have a C&R that we would like to walk through.  Should we e-file the fully executed document in advance before going to the district office for a walk through? 

A: Yes. You may e-file the C&R for a walk through. It should be submitted as an unstructured e-form. This should be done at least one full day in advance of the day you plan to do the walk through.

Q: I am trying to file an application for a deceased employee, but I cannot find the application for a death claim listed in the e-forms.  Should I use the legacy version?

A:  Yes. Use the legacy version of the form and submit it as an attachment to the unstructured e-form.

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