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California Division of Workers’ Compensation and WCAB Announce Updated Hearing and Filing Procedures
By Lonce Lamonte and the DWC Newsline - April 3, 2020

The Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) and the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) are announcing an update to the modified calendar and filing procedures announced on March 16, 2020. This update to the procedures continues to prioritize the health and safety of staff and the public to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The updated hearing and filing procedures are detailed below:

Hearing Procedures April 6 through April 10

  • DWC will continue to hear expedited hearings for parties that appear at the district offices.
  • DWC will also hear status conferences, mandatory settlement conferences and priority conferences via CourtCall only. If all parties do not appear via CourtCall, the case will be continued and notice will be given.
  • All other hearings will be continued. No trials or lien conferences will be heard during this time.
  • Parties are required to adhere to social distancing guidelines when visiting DWC district offices.

Filing Procedures April 6 through April 10

  • District offices will remain closed for filing purposes. Accordingly, all filing deadlines are extended to Monday, April 13.
  • DWC will not accept walk-through documents, walk-in filings, or in-person requests.
  • Parties may utilize the Electronic Adjudication Management System(EAMS) to file documents online. Parties may also mail settlement documents or petitions to the district office where the case is filed.
  • Refer to the district office page for e-mail and other contact information.
  • Additional information will be posted on the DWC website to assist parties with filing settlement documents in EAMS.

Hearing Procedures Effective April 13

  • DWC conferences including mandatory settlement conferences, priority conferences, status conferences and all expedited hearings will be heard telephonically.
  • All DWC judges in California will hear cases by an individually assigned conference line. These conference lines are available toll-free. A list of all conference line numbers will be posted on DWC’s website prior to the effective date.
  • Parties should call the conference line for the judge in front of whom the case is set, at the designated hearing time listed on the hearing notice. When prompted, 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 trials and lien conferences will be continued until further notice. District offices will hold no in-person hearings.

Filing Procedures Effective April 13

  • DWC will reopen for filing purposes.
  • DWC will only accept filing by e-filing via EAMS, JET file or by mail.
  • DWC will not accept walk-in filings, walk-through documents or in-person requests at this time. Injured workers who are unable to file utilizing these options or need assistance may contact DWC’s call center at 909-383-4522.

Effective Immediately

  • Until otherwise notified, DWC will 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 Business Rules.

The WCAB Commissioners’ office is closed to the public for in-person inquiries and requests until further notice.

# # #, Lonce Lamonte, journalist and editor, with the DIR Newsline release of April 2, 2020


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