On May 28, 2020, the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) and the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) announced changes to the upcoming hearing schedule at district offices.[1] The changes are effective June 8.

Hearing Procedures Effective June 8

The DWC will continue to hear all mandatory settlement conferences, priority conferences, status conferences, case-in-chief trials, and expedited hearings telephonically via the individually assigned judges’ conference lines.[2]

Beginning June 8, the DWC will hear as many as three lien conferences per judge per calendar session via the individually assigned judges’ conference lines. Lien conferences in excess of that number will be continued.

Parties should call the conference line for the assigned judge at the designated time listed on the hearing notice. When prompted, parties enter the access code assigned to that line. DWC staff will instruct participants about the procedure to follow during the call.

All lien trials will be continued during this time. District offices will not hold in-person hearings.

Continued Filing Procedures

The DWC will not accept walk-in filings, walk-through documents or in-person requests at this time. It will accept only electronic filing via EAMS and JET File, and paper filing by U.S. mail.

The DWC will accept limited email filings pursuant to the WCAB’s April 6 en banc decision[3] and its Newsline issued on April 23.[4] Specifically, the WCAB commissioners’ office will accept filing by email of documents relating to a petition for reconsideration that has been granted for further study.

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. Petitions for reconsideration, removal, disqualification, applications for adjudication of claim and petitions to reopen or other documents subject to statutory time limits, may be filed via email directly to the district office having venue. Documents that are not subject to statutory time limits may not be filed via email.

The DWC has posted additional information to assist parties with filing settlement documents in EAMS. Also, it will continue to accept an electronic signature on 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[5] and the JET File Business Rules.[6]

Injured workers who are unable to file utilizing the available options or need assistance may contact the 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.

 

  1. The DWC’s Newsline of May 28, 2020 is available at: https://www.dir.ca.gov/DIRNews/2020/2020-48.html.
  2. A complete list of numbers is available at: https://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/.
  3. The decision is available at: https://www.dir.ca.gov/wcab/EnBancdecisions2020/COVID-19-April2020.pdf.
  4. The DWC’s Newsline of April 23, 2020 is available at: https://www.dir.ca.gov/DIRNews/2020/2020-32.html.
  5. Available at: https://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/eams/EAMS_ElectronicFilingEFormFilersGuide.pdf.
  6. Available at: https://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/EAMS/JetFiling/BusinessRulesAndJET_File_Technical_Specifications.pdf.