Sep
23
2009
4

Going for the record!

Will it be a trifecta????

Will it be a trifecta????

My personal best is two walk through settlements at two different WCAB district offices in a single morning.  Tomorrow I am going to attempt three walk through settlements at three different WCAB district offices in a single morning.  My plan is to start my day at the San Jose WCAB at 8:00AM, hit the Oakland WCAB afterward, jet to San Francisco, and then return to the office.  Google Maps tells me that this is going to be 134 miles over 2 hours and 39 minutes. [1][2]

As I mentioned before, there’s a lot of things that can go wrong – traffic, long walk through lines, a broken photocopier. [3]

But, I’ve done what I can to ensure this works.  I’ve called the other parties, have a checklist of everything I need to do in the order I need to do it, my cell phone is charged up[4] , phone numbers for opposing counsel and my clients hand, GPS charged up, prepared Minutes of Hearing, Document Cover Sheets, Document Separator Sheets, Awards, and Orders. [5][6]

If you happen to be in San Jose, Oakland, or San Francisco today stop me and say hello.  (And – pretty please may I cut ahead of you in line?)

Lastly, I’ll be checking back here throughout the day, so how about leaving me a word of encouragement in the comments?[7]

  1. If I had another walk through to do in Santa Rosa, I would be planning a different order. []
  2. Photo courtesy of Matthew Armstrong []
  3. Or, heaven forbid, EAMS could be working tomorrow.  THAT would foul me right up. []
  4. And a back up cell phone charged up too! []
  5. I even sacrificed a giant sequoia sapling as an offering to EAMS. []
  6. I’m even bringing two extra settlements just in case one falls through!  Although, this is really due to coincidence than meticulous planning… []
  7. I think live blogging the trip might be a bit much – but we’ll see. []
Aug
10
2009
0

Have you taken the EAMS Survey?

EAMS: Your filing is not just rejected, its terminated

It is strongly encouraged you take the EAMS survey

The Division of Workers’ Compensation has posted a link to an EAMS survey.  I noticed a lot of fliers around the Oakland District office of the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board for this survey in the last few weeks.

Having taken the survey, I’m not optimistic its going to do anyone any good.  My problem with the survey is the inherent question bias.

Several of the survey questions deal with the availability and efficacy of EAMS training resources.  Take it from someone who actually designs software user interfaces – if people don’t like the user interface or the way your software works, they will either not use it or try to find ways around it.  The only viable solution is to design a system that doesn’t need a lot of training and explanation.

This is really shows the engineering perspective on the problem.  Once engineers have designed the system, its up to the user to read the manual and figure it all out.  The problem is not sufficient education, training, and understanding.  People are not suddenly going toembrace EAMS because now they understand how it works.

While its more work to comb through open ended responses from users, at least those answers will be more representative of their opinions.  Take the final question, for example:  “Please identify the top 3 improvements that you would like to see in EAMS . Please choose three and rank them in order of priority.”  Your only choices are:

  • Completing the OCR forms (formatting issues)
  • Completing the OCR forms (ambiguity re: required information)
  • Completing the OCR forms (technical issues)
  • Document processing times at the WCAB offices
  • WCAB clerks’ lack of knowledge regarding EAMS
  • Availability of EAMS information and documents when appearing at the WCAB for hearings.
  • Procedural inconsistencies amongst WCAB offices
  • Too much paper
  • Too few forms available online
  • Cover sheet / Separator Sheet
  • Limited availability of EAMS Access for external users
  • Limited amount of information available on public search
  • Assistance with EAMS forms from DWC call center
  • Other

This can’t possibly be an exhaustive list of user concerns with EAMS.  What other EAMS related issues do you perceive?

Jun
07
2009
0

Permanent Disability Calculators Updated

Up, dates!

Up, dates!

Unfortunately, one of the coolest features of my calculators is that some of them will give you the answer you’re looking for before you’ve even finished typing the search term.  This works with the:

While these are all very cool while you’re sitting at your computer, I found out (much to my dismay) that this system didn’t work at all when using these online calculators from my cell phone! [1] Well, I’ve updated the calculators to make them more compatible with more phones.[2]

Save yourself from your own workers’ compensation claim and just leave that heavy rating manual at home.

  1. It has to do with cross-browser compatibility and inconsistent support for javascript events.  I doubt anyone is interested in this. []
  2. Photo courtesy of Hunda []
Mar
28
2009
2

New Ogilvie DFEC Rebuttal Calculator feature!

Getting an upgrade!

Getting an upgrade!

Late last week a user asked for a new feature.[1]  He wanted to be able to perform the Ogilvie DFEC rebuttal calculation and have the results e-mailed to him.[2] Well, I built it![3]

To e-mail yourself a calculation, perform the calculation as normal.  When the website returns your calculation, it will say “E-mail Me!”  Just click that button and it will send an e-mail to the address you used to register for this website.

However, here’s the cool part:  I’ve installed this new e-mail system into every calculator! [4] No more having to copy and paste!  Just click one button and your calculation will show up in your inbox![5]

Although I intend this to be a paid-subscription-only feature, I am going to leave it open for all users while I get some feedback.  So, what do you think?  Please leave a comment or shoot me an e-mail!

  1. Thanks Dennis! []
  2. Photo courtesy of Vernhart []
  3. Why, what did you do with your Saturday morning? []
  4. I haven’t installed it in some of the EAMS lookup functions []
  5. If you filled in the boxes for Applicant, WCAB #, and File #, it will include this information in your e-mail as well.  This is only for your convenience and not a requirement. []
Mar
18
2009
1

EAMS: Rise of the Machines

Your request for hearing has been DENIED

Request for hearing DENIED

Tuesday I tried to submit settlement documents for a walk-through in Oakland. [1] I had prepared the document cover sheet, minutes of hearing, and had everything ready to go.  As per procedure, I left the packet with the court clerk and came back about half an hour later.

When I returned the settlement documents were still on the counter, but without any indication of which judge I would be seeking approval from.  I was told that the documents had already been signed by the day’s walk-through judge.

That’s when the fun started.

The computer told the clerk that the original documents in front of us had the judge’s signature and that the judge had the file.  The documents clearly did not have the judge’s signature.  However, since EAMS believed the documents were already approved, it felt (?) I  shouldn’t be given the opportunity to walk the documents through.  Even more interestingly, the EAMS was telling us that the documents had been approved that very afternoon.

Since I had stamped the documents in, the clerk did not want to return them to me so that I could ask the judge if he had signed the settlement.  Mind you, the judge would have had to sign the documents (in invisible ink) in the half hour between the time I dropped off the documents and came back to pick them up.  Eventually I was allowed to take the documents with me to ask the judge if he had signed them.

Once before the walk-through judge, I explained that I had no board file because EAMS believed he already had the file and had approved the documents I was handing him.  Puzzled, the judge went to investigate whether he had approved the documents that did not have his signature.  He returned a few minutes later saying that he did not have the file, he did not recall signing the documents, and that he did not recall signing any documents for myself or the Applicant’s attorney involved.  EAMS was adamant that he had signed those documents.

Thankfully everyone in the hearing room was good-natured about the entire thing.  The funniest part about the entire situation is that the court clerk, myself, and the judge were made to doubt our own recollection, the documentary evidence in front of us, and sanity because EAMS said so.

If you haven’t seen this already, you should really see this incredibly funny EAMS video.

  1. Photo courtesy of racatumba. []

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