EEOICPA BULLETIN NO.   06-0168

 

Issue Date:  October 28, 2005  September 2, 2005

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Effective Date: October 122, 2005August 26, 2005September 2, 2005

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Expiration Date: October 122, 20065August 26, 2006September 2, 2005

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Subject: ECMS Procedures related to Co-located FABIssuing multiple payments to the same payee in ECMS E..

 

Background: Under Part E, claimants can receive compensation from three possible areas:  lump sum compensation (specifically awarded to a survivor if the employee’s covered illness was a significant factor in aggravating, causing, or contributing to the employee’s death); wage loss; and impairment. On August 26, 2005, an update to ECMS was released.  That release allowed for the total Acceptance of Payment (AOP) amount to be broken down into three different fields:  “Wage Loss Alloc,” “Impairment Alloc,” and “Lump Sum Alloc” to allow ECMS to accurately reflect the allocation of the payments awarded in the corresponding final decision. 

 

Cases may require multiple decisions to address the different types of compensation awarded under Part E.  Multiple decisions may require issuance of multiple payments to the same payee.  Until now, ECMS did not have the capability to allow the district offices to issue multiple payments to the same payee.  All cases in which more than one monetary award was made under Part E had to be processed in the National Office.  With the latest release of ECMS, the district offices will now have the capabilities to create, certify, verify, and authorize multiple payments to the same payee in ECMS E.  While the payment processing procedures are virtually unchanged, there have been some modifications to ECMS E.  ThisAs the (Draft) Federal (EEOICPA) Procedure Manual discusses, certain District Office (DO) Claims Examiners (CEs) are designated to continue DO development on certain claims while the cases are at the Final Adjudication Branch (FAB) awaiting a final decision.  This group of designated CEs is referred to as the “Co-located FAB.”  The individuals within the Co-located FAB will be referred to as secondary CEs.  The Co-located FAB CEs will be referred to as secondary because the FAB CE (or hearing representative) will be considered the primary CE while the case is in FAB’s jurisdiction.  ECMS Release 6 will allow the case screen in ECMS to reflect the Co-located FAB’s involvement with the case, as well as allow the secondary CEs to enter status codes and other information into ECMS while the file is assigned to a FAB District Office location in ECMS.  This bulletin provides written guidance regarding on the ECMS procedures that are to be followed regarding the Co-located FABissuing multiple payments to the same payee in ECMS E.  The process is basically unchanged.  Only some ECMS screens have changed slightly, which this bulletin addresses.  Previous guidance regarding the EN-20, payment transaction forms, verifying account information, etc. still stands.

 

Reference:   (Draft) Federal (EEOICPA) Procedure Manual, Chapter E-1100, EECMS Release Notes (August 26October 12, 2005), EEOICPA Bulletin No. 02-13

 

Purpose: To provide ECMS procedures for processing cases that require DO development while located at FAB.in which multiple payments are issued to the same claimant.

 

 

Applicability: All Staff

 

 

Actions:

 

 

1.  When the Final Adjudication Branch (FAB) issues a final decision awarding compensation under Part E, the FAB Claims Examiner (CE) or Hearing Representative (HR) must complete the Acceptance of Payment (AOP) information on the payee screen in ECMS E. The AOP information consists of the AOP sent date, which is the date the EN-20 is sent out, and the AOP allocation amounts.  The AOP allocation amounts coincide with the final decision that is being issued.  These amounts include lump sum compensation, wage loss, and impairment.  The default amount for these blank fields is $0.00.  Therefore, if no decision is made or benefits are denied in one of the three areas in that decision, no input is needed for that field. How the AOP information is access has changed slightly and is outlined below.

 

2.  To add new AOP information for a payee, the FAB CE/HR must go to the payee screen in ECMS E, click on any field in the AOP section, and click “Insert.”  This will access the AOP information screen where the FAB CE/HR has access to the AOP sent date and allocation amounts (impairment, wage loss, and lump sum).  The FAB CE/HR accurately completes these fields to coincide with the final decision.  Once the allocation amounts are entered, ECMS automatically totals the allocations and populates the (total) AOP amount.  The AOP amount cannot exceed $250,000 in ECMS E.  The AOP amount field should match the amount on the EN-20, which reflects the total amount awarded under that particular final decision. For example, a final decision awards a widow $125,000 because the employees lung cancer was a significant factor in aggravating, causing, or contributing to the employee’s death.  She also receives $25,000 for his wage loss under the same decision.  The EN-20 would reflect a payment amount of $150,00o0.  The AOP screen would show $125,000.00” in the lump sum compensation field, $25,000.00” in the wage loss field, and no amount paid in the impairment field.  ECMS will total the amounts in the allocation fields and show $150,000.00” in the AOP amount field, which is the same amount on the EN-20.

 

3.  If subsequent decisions are issued awarding compensation, such as additional wage loss, a new AOP record will be created following the process discussed above.  This will create a new/separate AOP record that reflects the corresponding final decision.  All of the AOP records are retained and accessible by accessing the payee screen in ECMS, highlighting the associated AOP record and pressing enter, or double-clicking.  While the AOP amount on each individual screen AOP shows the total amount on that particular payment/decision, the system will total all of the AOP amounts on the various AOP screens to ensure their totals do not exceed $250,000.  ECMS will not allow input of AOP amounts in ECMS E that exceed $250,000. 

 

4.  When the completed EN-20 is received in the district office, it is routed to the CE if payment is to be made via paper check or routed to the payee change assistant (PCA) if payment is to be made via electronic funds transfer (EFT).  The routing process has not changed.  However, the payee screen, utilized by both has changed.  The EFT and address information have been put onto two separate tabs.  For an EFT, the PCA accesses the EFT tab on the payee screen to enter the EFT data.  The EFT information includes the bank name, bank address, routing number, account number , account name, account type, contact name, and contact phone number.  The account number, routing number, account name, and account type is verified with the bank whenever possible and documented in the case file. 

 

5.  When the CE receives the EN-20 for processing, he/she must first enter the AOP received date.  As previously mentioned, the AOP information section has changed.  It is now on a table at the bottom of the payee screen.  Various AOP records can be viewed/accessed from the table.  To input the AOP received date, the CE accesses the payee screen in ECMS, highlighting the associated AOP record, which will have a blank AOP received date, and pressing enter or double-clicking.  This will access the AOP information.  The CE can only add/edit the AOP received date.  He/she cannot add/edit the AOP sent date or AOP amount.  He/she inputs the date the EN-20 was date-stamped as received in the office.  Once the CE saves the AOP received date, he/she closes out of the case in ECMS.

 

6.  The CE completes the Payment Transaction Form (PTF) in line with current procedures.

 

 

7.   After the AOP received date has been entered and the PTF has been accurately completed, the CE is ready to create the compensation transaction in ECMS E.  The CE selects “Compensation” from the main menu at the top of the screen, followed by “Create Compensation Transaction” from the corresponding drop down menu.  The CE then enters the employee and payee SSN and pushes the “Search” button.  The employee and payee information should populate the “Add Payment Transaction” screen. 

 

8.  At the bottom of the compensation creation screen, the AOP sent and received dates will be viewable for any payment that is waiting to be created. The CE highlights the associated AOP record and selects “Create Payment.”  If a previously voided payment that is eligible for re-issue exists (e.g. check was never received, EFT rejected because of an erroneous routing number), the “Create Payment” button will change to a “Re-issue Payment” button that can be selected, when the corresponding AOP record is highlighted.  As always, if information needs corrected on the payee screen, such as routing number or street address, the PCA needs to complete this prior to the payment being re-issued.

 

9.   When the “Create Payment (or “Re-issue Payment”) button is pressed, the system will force the CE to confirm the allocation amounts by entering the amounts for impairment, wage loss, and lump sum and pressing “OK.”  If the allocation amounts do not match the amounts entered by the FAB CE/HR, an error message will appear stating “The allocation amounts entered do not match the AOP allocation.  If this occurs, the CE checks the amounts he/she is entering for accuracy.  If it is determined to be a FAB error, the case file is returned to the FAB so the allocation amounts can be corrected.  A transfer sheet is created that contains a note explaining the needed AOP allocation correction.  Correction of this information by the FAB CE/HR is to be considered a priority task.  ECMS allows the FAB CE/HR to change the allocation amounts in the impairment, wage loss, and lump sum fields at any time prior to the creation of the associated payment.  After the payment has been created, the FAB CE/HR has the ability to redistribute the allocation amounts, as long as the total AOP amount for the associated payment does not change.  After the requested corrections are made, the case file is immediately transferred back to the district office CE to complete the payment.

 

710. If no errors occur and the AOP allocation amounts are input, this takes the CE to the compensation screen, which is unchanged.  The process is also unchanged.  The CE enters the routing number, account number, account type, and payment amount for an EFT on the compensation screen and “Saves” the record.  For a paper check, the CE enters the payment amount and changes the address (if the check is going to a payment only address) on the compensation screen and “Saves” the record.  The CE then completes the appropriate portion of the certification section on the PTF and forwards the case file to the “certifier”, which is a senior or supervisory claims examiner. 

 

811.   The process of certifying, verifying and authorizing payments for the Senior/Supervisory CEs, Fiscal Officers and District Directors, respectively has remained unchanged.

 

2.  Once a case is transferred to the FAB, the FAB CE/Hearing Representative (HR) must be aware if any district office development is needed on any portion of the case.  The FAB CE/HR will become aware of such issues because of the Co-located FAB development memorandum.  However, they may also become aware of issues during their review process.  If it is determined that district office development is needed, the FAB CE, HR or Manager must complete the D l.  The fields that need completedion in this section are If sothe “CE2” and “CE2 Assign Dt” fields.  The “CE2” field represents the Co-located FAB CE (secondary CE), that is designated in the Co-located FAB development memorandum to complete the district office development necessary while the case file is assigned to FAB.To complete the secondary CE assignment, the appropriate Co-located FAB CE is selected from the drop down menu.  The FAB CE/HR tabs over to the CE assign date, which automatically populates with the current date and time.  (This field can be manually input if needed.)

Note:  The DD must keep the FAB Manager informed how secondary CE assignments are designated in case the FAB comes across secondary development that is needed and must designate a secondary CE without the guidance of the Co-located FAB development memorandum.

 

3.  Each Co-located FAB unit will have a code that will automatically populate the “DO2” field.  The “DO2” field represents the district office that is handling the co-located FAB development.  This field is populated when the “Co-located Development” section is activated in ECMS.  The associated codes are:

 

·SEF – Seattle Co-located FAB

·CLF – Cleveland Co-located FAB

·JAF – Jacksonville Co-located FAB

·DEF – Denver Co-located FAB

·NAF – National Office Co-located FAB

 

Note:  The CEs/HRs will not need to complete this field, but it will be used for various reporting needs.

 

4. When the Co-located development section has been completed in ECMS, it will be highlighted in white.  This indicates that there is a simultaneous ownership in ECMS.  Both the FAB CE/HR and the secondary CE will be able to make entries into ECMS without having to transfer the case file in the system. 

Note:  The FAB CE/HR and the secondary CE will need to coordinate with each other to ensure that the file is where it is needed and the appropriate work can be completed on the case.  If both the FAB CE/HR and the secondary CE need the actual file, the FAB CE/HR’s need takes precedence. 

 

5. Once the Co-located Development section is activated and a secondary CE is assigned, any outstanding call-ups in ECMS from the DO CE will be automatically re-assigned to the secondary CE.  Any call-ups that the FAB CE/HR enters will still function and be viewable for that FAB CE/HR.

 

6.  Every secondary CE in the Co-located FAB will have a three character location identifier of DO1-DO9.  (More location codes will be added if necessary.)  As always, the case location code and case file jacket must be annotated to reflect any change in the physical file’sfile’s physical location.

 

7.  After the case is transferred out by the DO, and assigned to the FAB awaiting a Final Decision, the District Office assignment will remain a FAB location code (FAC, FAJ, FAS, FAD, or FAB) for as long as the case is in the FAB’s jurisdiction, even if the secondary CE is working on the case.  The physical case file can be located with a FAB employee or a secondary CE while the District Office listed in ECMS is one of the FAB location codes.

 

8.  The secondary CE is to conduct all necessary development on all outstanding claim elements not related to the decision currently in front of the FAB CE/HR, and code ECMS appropriately to reflect those actions for the duration of the FAB review process.  The secondary CE also determines when there is enough information available to issue a recommended decision (RD). 

 

·If FAB completes their review process and the district office development issues are not completed with a recommended decision, the secondary CE ceases development.  The secondary CE then prepares a memorandum to the DD explaining what development actions have been taken and what future actions are required to address any outstanding issues.  This memorandum is important because outstanding DO call-ups will not be re-assigned back to the DO (though they will be viewable).

 

·If the secondary CE determines that there is enough evidence to support a RD on any outstanding claim elements, he/she issues the RD and keeps the file at FAB.

 

9.  When the case file is ready to be returned to the DO, the person transferring the case file out of the office will press the “Unassign CE2” button in the Co-located Development portion of the case screen.  This will deactivate the co-located development.

 

 

 

 

Disposition: Retain until incorporated in the Federal (EEOICPA)

Procedure  Manual.

 

 

 

 

PETER M. TURCIC

Director, Division of Energy Employees

Occupational Illness Compensation

 

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