After the EAMS regulations become final in October 2008, all parties must use the new EAMS forms for all aspects of their workers’ compensation practice, including DORs, applications, C&Rs, etc. DWC is encouraging all parties to begin using these new forms when EAMS goes live on 8.25.08. Between go-live and the time when external users are issued log-ons and passwords, the primary way most parties (external users) will be able to file documents with their respective district offices is with paper OCR forms.
1. Submitting Forms in EAMS:
OCR Forms: At go-live external users will be using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) forms which can be found on the DWC website. (An OCR form is a specially developed form that is read by EAMS in the scanning process to populate an EAMS case file.) To use OCR forms:
Note: Software companies are currently working with DWC to develop OCR forms that are compatible with EAMS (meaning they can be read by DWC’s scanners). They are also working with case management software firms, which are currently used by external parties, to auto-populate forms. If a party uses this kind of auto-populated software as part of their case-management tools, they should ensure their forms developer is working with DWC to test the forms for use in EAMS.
Once EAMS has been up and running for a period of time, DWC will start issuing log-ons and passwords to external users, who can then file their forms using an electronic interface.
E-forms: Parties who volunteer for the DWC e-forms trial will file all their documents using e-forms, with the following process:
Use of the Old Forms: From 8.25.08 until October 2008 (when the new regulations for EAMS become effective) parties may still use their old forms. However, if the parties use their old forms, the district office staff will have to manually input the data from that old form into an EAMS form, which could add to the backlog in the district offices.
New EAMS Regs: Proposed Reg. 8 CCR §10232, provides detailed instructions for completing the paper OCR documents. Note that the regulations may change in the public comment process. Also, DWC expects to post a revision of the forms following the 45-day comment period:
2. Constructing a File to be Scanned into EAMS by DWC:
An EAMS cover sheet will be the first page of any document or set of documents filed at one time in the same case (batch). Information captured from the cover sheet is used to populate an EAMS case file.
If an individual document comes with several attachments, an EAMS separator sheet must be placed on top of each attachment. The separator sheet is used to index the documents within the case file. A document separator sheet must also be placed in front of each form.
For instance, if a party files a DOR with a report from Dr. Smith, the file would be constructed as follows: First, an EAMS cover sheet and separator sheet are placed on top of the DOR. Remember, the cover sheet is used to populate the EAMS case file and the separator sheet tells EAMS where to put the document that follows it. Therefore, both a cover sheet and a separator sheet are needed before the DOR. A separator sheet is also used between the DOR and Dr. Smith’s medical report.
It may help to think of the cover sheet and separator sheets in this way: The cover sheet tells EAMS what kind of case file to open or if it should connect the incoming data to an existing file. The separator sheet is an opening page that contains the metadata for the document that follows it, which tells EAMS where in the case file to place that document.
EAMS cover sheets and separator sheets will be available on the DWC website with the other forms, and will be available at all district offices.
Please use first generation forms only and not copies or copies of copies of forms. Documents should not be folded or stapled to ease in the scanning process. Hand printed documents may be allowed for unrepresented parties, but keep in mind that legibility is vital for the scanners to read the documents correctly. DWC appreciates the cooperation of the entire community, which will ensure that the system runs properly and expeditiously for everyone.
The proposed EAMS regs discussing all of the above, can be found at http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/DWCPropRegs/EAMS_regulations/EAMS_regulations.htm
This blog has been approved by the California Division of Workers' Compensation.
How do case participants apply for a login ID to EAMS?
After EAMS goes live on August 25, 2008, the logon ids and passwords to access the system will be distributed to external users on a gradual basis. Information will be provided to external users at that time, as to how to apply for an EAMS logon ID and password. To receive that information, please subscribe to the newsletter, EAMS Insider, by following the directions at the DWC's EAMS website at www.dwc.ca.gov/eams.