Answers to frequently asked questions about lien filing
Topics covered in this FAQ include:
Filing an initial lien and paying the filing fee
Lien claimant-specific questions
About the basics
Q. Who has to pay lien filing fees?
A. On or after Jan. 1, 2013, any initial lien for reasonable medical expenses incurred by or on behalf of the injured employee except disputes subject to independent medical review (IMR) or independent bill review (IBR) is required to pay an initial lien filing fee of $150.00.
An initial lien for medical treatment expenses includes transportation services, copy services and interpreter services incurred in connection with medical treatment.
Any affected lien claimant who filed a Declaration of Readiness or appeared at a lien conference between November 9, 2015 and December 31, 2015 had to pay the activation fee by December 31, 2015. Those that missed this date had their affected liens dismissed by operation of law.
Q. Are any medical treatment expenses incurred by or on behalf of the injured employee exempt from the lien filing fee?
A. Yes. Any medical treatment expense lien filed by the following are exempt from the lien filing fee:
- A Health care service plan under Health and Safety Code section 1349
- A Group disability insurer under Insurance Code, section 10270.5
- A Self-insured employee welfare benefit plan under Insurance Code section 10121
- A Taft-Hartley health and welfare fund
- A Publicly funded program providing medical benefits on a nonindustrial basis.
Q. Are non-medical treatment lien claims required to pay lien filing fees?
A. No. The following types of liens do not have to pay the initial lien filing fee:
- Attorney fees
- Living expenses
- Burial expenses
- Spousal and child support expenses
- Employment Development Department liens
- Victims of Crime liens
About filing an initial lien and paying the filing fee
Q. How much is the initial lien filing fee?
A. The fee for filing an initial lien is $150.00.
Q. How do I file an initial lien for medical treatment expenses and pay the lien filing fee?
A. All initial medical treatment lien claims subject to the lien filing fee must be filed electronically by one of two methods: eForm or JET File.
- To file by eForm follow the procedures in the EAMS eForm Filing Reference Guide.
- To assist with paying the lien fee use the step by step instructions
- To file by Jet File follow the procedures in the EAMS JET File Business Rules and Technical Specifications.
Q. Can I still use the paper OCR form to file a lien claim?
A. The paper OCR lien form can still be used to file a lien on or after Jan. 1, 2013 if the lien is a non-medical treatment expense lien or it is exempt from payment of the lien filing fee.
Q. Am I required to pay the initial lien filing fee for the same medical treatment expense in each case filed by the injured employee?
A. No. If the same medical treatment expense claim by the same provider is filed in two or more cases by the same injured employee, only one lien filing fee of $150.00 is required to be paid. However, you will need to file your lien in both cases. Please contact EFORMS@dir.ca.gov for instructions so you do not pay a second lien filing fee.
Q. How do I prove that I paid the lien filing fee?
A. Print and save the confirmation of payment you receive when you pay the lien filing fee. Proof of payment of the lien filing fee can be confirmed through the public search tool.
About lien claimant-specific questions:
Q: I file electronically via eForms. Where can I look to make sure the liens that I e-filed actually made it into the EAMS system?
A: You will go to the INT case home page and locate the "Case Documents" section near the bottom of the page. You will see the different product delivery units listed and you will click on "ADJ." This will pull up the FileNet window, and you can scroll down to locate or use the search options to search for your lien.
Q: Can we file an application and a lien together for a new case?
A: No. You must file the application first, then after the case number is assigned, you may file your lien.
Q: As a lien claimant, we regularly serve copies of invoices as exhibits at various district offices. May we group all of the invoices together with a single separator sheet?
A: No, you are not to file invoices at the district offices in that manner. Invoices are to be submitted as potential exhibits at the time of hearing.
Q: What is the correct way to withdraw a DOR we recently filed on a lien? We settled the lien and no longer require assistance from the WCAB. Is there a specific form, or do we just write a letter?
A: No, there is no form for withdrawing a DOR. You would type a letter requesting this withdrawal. The letter would be filed using the document title, WITHDRAWAL OF DECLARATION OF READINESS. If the case is set for hearing, you may file your request to OTOC using ADJ-LEGAL-REQUEST FOR ORDER TAKING OFF CALENDAR.
Q: How would I file an eForm lien when there are multiple carriers? The form only allows one carrier to be entered.
A: You will submit an attachment to your eForm lien. Use the unit ADJ, the document type MISC and the document title "CORRESPONDENCE - OTHER."
Q: How do I withdraw a lien?
A: You would type a letter requesting this withdrawal. The letter would be filed using the document title, REQUEST FOR WITHDRAWAL OF LIEN.