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 calculator4 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. []
Dec
02
2008
0

New WCAB Regs, New EAMS Forms

Block Letters

Block Letters

According to a recent DIR news bulletin on November 17, 2008 the new WCAB Rules of Practice and Procedure were approved by the Office of Administrative Law and filed with the Secretary of the State and (apparently) made effective that same day.  If you haven’t already reviewed the new regulations, now’s a good time.  You can check them using the above links or download it here:

New WCAB Rules of Practice and Procedure (Effective 11-17-2008)

Since the new WCAB rules became effective, the new EAMS forms are now mandatory.  The exceptions named in the above bulletin are:

  • There will be a four-week “transition period” in effect through December 12, 2008 during which the “legacy”1 forms will still be accepted.
  • Forms requiring multiple signatures will be accepted in “legacy” form as long as the filer establishes that circulation began prior to November 17, 2008. 2
  • Unrepresented injured workers will be allowed until February 17, 2009 to use “legacy” forms.
  • Unrepresented injured workers who do not have access to a computer or typewriter will be allowed to fill in the new OCR forms by printing using block letters.34

Did you know there’s a handbook for the new Optical Character Recognition EAMS forms?  You can check it out here or download it here:

EAMS OCR Handbook (Rev. 11-24-2008)

  1. Read: non-EAMS []
  2. I suppose the easiest way to demonstrate this is to point out that at least one of the signatures was dated prior to 11/17/2008. []
  3. Though, I suppose printing clearly in all-capital letters migh work better… []
  4. Photo courtesy of Thomas Hawk. []
Nov
14
2008
0

100th Post!

This baby monkey has nothing to do with workers' compensation at all.

This baby monkey has nothing to do with workers compensation at all

This website was recently re-launched on July 6, 2008 in a “blog” style format using WordPress to power everything except the calculators.1

On July 23, 2008 this website was all of one year old.  That day I made a goal of posting something2 every single weekday.3  Today is the 100th post on this site and I can’t help feeling somewhat accomplished.4

As any website regular can tell, I’m constantly tinkering with this site.  I fully understand constant change might be somewhat disorienting.  On the other hand, I’m making these changes in an effort to improve the appearance and usability of the website.

Most recently, I moved the Medical Provider Network and Links sub-pages to be their own5 menu options.  These pages seem to be things people use a lot and really deserve their own spot at the top.  Then again, I don’t want the top menu to be too cluttered.  There’s really no one great solution to this dilemma.

Other changes I’m considering:

  1. Moving the EAMS and WCAB search functions to their own page.  Some users6 use these functions exclusively and probably don’t appreciate the dozen or so other calculators.
  2. Combining the Blog and Articles pages.  I haven’t done this so far because I doubt people want to sift through my technobabble to learn something about workers’ compensation.

While I have you here:

Drop me a line and let me know.

  1. Photo courtesy of nycgeo. []
  2. Admittedly, sometimes nonsense. []
  3. Even on holiday-weekdays. []
  4. I’m not exactly ready for NaNoWriMo, but you need to walk before you can run. []
  5. Top level []
  6. I suspect mostly non-attorneys. []
Nov
13
2008
1

OpenOffice v3.0: Helping with EAMS

MicroSoft has no one to blame but themselves for my deleting MicroSoft Office.  Well, its partly Dell’s fault too, but that’s a long story I’ll tell some other time.  (Short version: Dell repaired a prior laptop and shipped it to a construction site in Oakland.)

Once I tried OpenOffice, I never looked back.  Its my preferred word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, office suite program.  Not only is it better than MicroSoft office in just about every way, but its also completely free.  You might be interested in trying it out because I believe it will help you tremendously with EAMS.

OpenOffice.org

OpenOffice.org

OpenOffice.org released version 3.0 of their program on October 13, 2008.  It was so wildly popular that their website was crushed under the overwhelming demand.  The three most important things to know about OpenOffice are:

  1. Its open source, so its completely free.  So, there’s no reason not to give it a shot.
  2. It can open, edit, and save to any MS Office 2000, 2003, 2007, and WordPerfect formats.
  3. It can print or export any file to a PDF.

If you’re a Workers’ Compensation professional in California, you’re probably dealing with EAMS.  Since filing things with EAMS means working with a lot of PDF’s.  In order to keep from reinventing the wheel, it makes sense to save those PDF’s of the document cover sheets.  But what if you need to make a small change later on?  Well, OpenOffice v3.0 can help with that too.

Using an extension ((basically a small program)) OpenOffice can open and edit and re-save a PDF file. Not even Adobe, the company that promotes the PDF format1 , does a good job of opening and editing PDF’s.

This is a really big deal to me because editing saved PDF’s is going to save me a lot of time editing settlement documents and various pleadings.

Update

I wrote the above about a month ago while I gave OpenOffice 3.0 a shot.  It won’t install on my Vista laptop but works great on my XP desktop.  I’ve reverted to OpenOffice 2.4 on the laptop while I wait for a fix.  OpenOffice 2.4 is still free, but it won’t open MS Office 2007 formats (which not everyone is using anyhow) and cannot edit PDFs.

  1. I know that’s redundant. []

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