Electronic Filing and Case Management System Getting Closer in Iowa

After a lot of effort and some frustrating setbacks, the Iowa Workers' Compensation Commissioner's Office is moving closer to an electronic filing and case management system. The Commissioner has submitted a proposal for a system similar to the Georgia State Board of Workers' Compensation. The Commissioner recently remarked that the new "paperless" system will be accessible through any computer with internet access.

While the system will be "designed to make paper filing and mailing/running/faxing documents to the [workers' compensation] division obsolete," the commissioner has not said that paper filings will not be allowed. The State of Iowa appropriated $500,000.00 to implement an electronic compliance and litigation system for workers' compensation cases, which is expected to result in substantially reduced staff time, printing and postage. An electronic filing system for workers' compensation cases was originally to be developed along with the Iowa District Court system, which is now on its third vendor and has faced repeated delays in implementing a filing system for the Courts.

Approval of the first steps of the workers' compensation filing system is anticipated in mid-June, 2008. Attorneys from other States that have gone to electronic filing have generally been very positive about the change.