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Iowa Workers' Compensation Electronic Filing Changes: What Every Employer and Insurance Carrier Needs to Know - July 19, 2019

The Division of Workers’ Compensation is in the process of rolling out its new Workers’ Compensation Electronic System (WCES).  Effective July 22, 2019, parties will now need to file pleadings, motions, settlement documents, hearing exhibits, hearing reports, etc. with WCES. 

To implement WCES, changes have been made to Chapter 876 of the Iowa Administrative Code.  These rules have been amended to add mandatory efiling deadlines, procedures for filing with WCES, answer forms, etc. 

For employers and insurance carriers, the move to an electronic filing system also means changes in how first reports of injury (FROI) and subsequent reports of injury (SROI) are filed and updated through EDI, effective July 16, 2019. 

As of July 16, 2019 (EDI Changes):

  • Filings are to be filed with EDI Release 3.1 by the employer or insurance carrier. 
  • If the employer or insurance carrier is made aware of information in the FROI or SROI that is incorrect, the reporter must file changes/additions within 45 days after being made aware of the incorrect information. For example, this information would include changes/updates to the claimant’s name, the claimant’s social security number, date of birth, date of injury, employer’s name, marital status, exemption number, average weekly wage, and compensation rate.  Also, if a decision is filed relating to the case and the findings differ from the information previously submitted in the FROI or SROI, the reporter must file changes within 45 days of the decision.   

As of July 22, 2019 (WCES Changes):

  • If a non-represented employer or insurance carrier is required to file medical data or settlement documents, this is filed with WCES. 
  • If an employer is excluded from workers’ compensation liability coverage under Iowa Code section 87.22, Form No. 14-0175 should be used and filed with WCES.

In order to use WCES, the employer or insurance carrier must register with WCES.  You will receive a status update for the information you submit using WCES.  Also, in order to use EDI Release 3.1, all reporters must sign a partnering agreement.

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