Newsline No.:2020-37 Date: April 28, 2020
The Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) and Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) continue to improve their operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The following changes are effective May 4:
Hearing Procedures Starting May 4
DWC will continue to hear all mandatory settlement conferences, priority conferences, status conferences and expedited hearings telephonically via the individually assigned judges’ conference lines as announced in DWC’s Newsline issued on April 3.
Beginning May 4, DWC will hear all case-in-chief trials via the individually assigned judges’ conference lines.
All parties should call the conference line for the judge in front of whom the case is set, at the designated time listed on the hearing notice. When prompted, the parties should enter the access code assigned to that line. DWC staff will instruct participants as to the procedure to follow during the call.
All lien trials and lien conferences will be continued during this time. District offices will not hold in-person hearings. DWC will not accept walk-through documents, walk-in filings, or in-person requests.
Trial Exhibits starting May 4
Unless so ordered prior to the day of trial, parties shall be instructed on the day of trial by the assigned workers’ compensation judge of the method and timing of filing of exhibits (8 Cal. Code of Regs. 10787(b)).
Parties shall not email trial exhibits to DWC or WCAB, unless so ordered by the workers’ compensation judge.
Continuing Filing Procedures
DWC will not accept walk-in filings, walk-through documents, or in-person requests at this time. DWC will only accept electronic filing via EAMS and JET File, and paper filing by U.S. mail.
DWC will accept limited email filings pursuant to WCAB’s en banc dated April 6 and its Newsline issued on April 23. Email filings are limited to documents that are subject to a statute of limitations that cannot otherwise be efiled, JET filed, or filed by U.S. mail.
DWC has posted additional information to assist parties with filing settlement documents in EAMS. Refer to the district office page for email and other contact information.
DWC will continue to accept an electronic signature on any settlement documents, applications, pleadings, petitions or motions that are sent to the district offices or filed in EAMS. For all e-forms, parties should utilize “S signature” as shown in the E-forms Filing Reference Guide and the JET File BusinessRules.
Injured workers who are unable to file utilizing the available options or need assistance may contact DWC’s call center at 909-383-4522.
The WCAB Commissioners' office is closed to the public for in-person inquiries and requests until further notice. The Commissioners and staff are working remotely during the closure.
March 12, 2020
TO THE VAN NUYS COMMUNITY:
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, please be advised that we are expanding our CourtCall capabilities and those hearings for which CourtCall may be used.
During this emergency situation, CourtCall will be available to all parties for Status Conferences, Mandatory Settlement Conferences, and Priority Conferences. Please note that if at an MSC, the Pre-Trial Conference Statement must still be completed and filed at the time of the hearing. This may be accomplished by the parties beforehand, or during the conference via the CourtCall fax (if available) or email.
Presently about half of our Judges have CourtCall installed. All Judges should have the system available in the next few weeks.
We appreciate your cooperation during these times. Parties are encouraged to maintain social distance when possible. It is suggested that parties meet and confer in advance of a scheduled hearing, or conduct discussions in other areas, to reduce the time spent in the courtroom.
Further measures may be taken as events warrant.
Every Workers' Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) legacy case number has a corresponding EAMS case number. If you know either number, you can use this page to look up the corresponding case number. https://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/eams/eams-lc/EAMSCases.asp
Physician’s Guide to Medical Practice in the California Workers’ Compensation System https://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/medicalunit/toc.pdf
Approved List as of 8/15/19 https://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/SJDB/VRTWC_list.pdf