EEOICPA BULLETIN NO. 03-12
Issue Date: October 18, 2002
Effective Date: October 7, 2002
Expiration Date: October 18, 2003
Subject: WS/WR Codes
Background: The purpose of this bulletin is to introduce two new status codes WS (Washington, DC: Sent To) and WR (Washington, DC: Received Back From). The codes are used for tracking claims on ECMS when a referral has been made to the Branch of Policy, Regulations, and Procedures (BPRP) at the National Office (NO) from the District Office (DO) for resolution of policy or procedural issues. The WS/WR codes should only be used when the Claims Examiner’s (CE’s) work on a case cannot proceed until the outstanding issue is resolved. The referral is made to the Branch Chief for BPRP resolution of the issue through the CE’s Supervisor and the District Director. The referral can be made in the form of a case file, copies of pertinent documents from a case file, or electronic mail (e-mail).
References: ECMS FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions), Updated 10/7/02
Purpose: To provide District Offices with procedures for using the WS and WR status codes. The bulletin also addresses use of the WS/WR - Referral/Response Form (Attachment 1) that must accompany all referrals to the BPRP.
Applicability: All staff.
1. The CE identifies an outstanding policy or procedural issue in a case that requires NO attention. The CE is unable to process the claim until the issue is resolved at the NO level. For example, a CE is processing a claim in which the claimant
submitted evidence indicating that the time period for his
Atomic Weapons Employer (AWE) should be expanded. Such action by the NO would cover all his periods of employment with the AWE. In another case, a final decision authorizing benefits has been issued by the Final Adjudication Branch. The case file contains a Power of Attorney document. Before the compensation payment can be made, the Power of Attorney document must be reviewed at NO.
2. The CE details the issue(s) for the referral to BPRP on the WS/WR - Referral/Response Form for his/her Supervisory Claims Examiner’s signature and the District Director’s signature. The CE also identifies the manner in which the referral (case file, copies of pertinent documents, or e-mail) is to be made and places the form in the case file.
3. The Supervisory CE and District Director review the case file and the WS/WR -Referral/Response Form. If they agree that the outstanding issue in the case requires NO attention and agree with the manner (case file, copies of pertinent documents, or e-mail) in which the referral is to be made, they both sign and date the form.
4. If the form is transmitted as an attachment to an e-mail, the Supervisory Claims Examiner and District Director type their names and dates on the e-mail attachment. A signed and dated hardcopy of the form is placed in the case file. If a case file is forwarded to NO, the form is spindled down “on top” in the case file. If copies of case records are forwarded to NO, the referral form is placed “on top” of the copied documents.
5. The District Director enters the WS (Washington, DC – sent to) status code in the Case Status screen in ECMS. The WS status code signifies that the case is awaiting a NO response on a policy or procedural issue.
6. The status effective date for the WS code the District Director enters in the Case Status screen in ECMS equals the date s/he signs and dates the WS/WR - Referral/Response Form and forwards the form along with the case file or copies of case file documents to the DO mailroom staff for shipping to the BPRP Branch Chief in the NO. If the documents are faxed or if the
form is e-mailed to the BPRP, the status effective date is the date the fax or e-mail is transmitted.
7. Use of the WS code is restricted to the District Director to ensure the District Director agrees with the CE’s rationale
for the referral to BPRP and also agrees that the CE cannot proceed working on the case until the outstanding issue is resolved.
8. Upon receipt of the referral in the National Office, the case file is reviewed to ensure the referral is appropriate. Appropriate referrals are assigned to a NO staff member by the Branch Chief, BPRP for a timely response. The response is provided in the BPRP Section of the WS/WR - Referral/Response Form.
9. The CE enters WR (Washington, DC: Received Back From) into the
Case Status screen in ECMS when s/he receives the response to his/her inquiry from the BPRP enabling him/her to proceed with working on the case.
10. The status effective date for the WR code the CE enters into the Case Status screen in ECMS equals the date the DO receives the response from National Office. For a case file forwarded to NO, the WR date equals the date the file is received back in the DO. For copies of documents from the case file or an e-mail forwarded to the NO, the WR date equals the date the response is received in the DO.
11. All responses faxed or e-mailed by the NO must be immediately associated with the case file in the DO.
12. An inappropriate case referral to the NO is returned to the DO. An explanation for the return of the referral is provided in the BPRP Section of the WS/WR - Referral/Response Form.
Disposition: Retain until incorporated in the Federal (EEOICPA) Procedure Manual.
Distribution: Distribution List No. 1: (Claims Examiners, Supervisory Claims Examiners, Technical Assistants, Customer Service Representatives, Fiscal Officers, FAB District Managers, Operation Chiefs, Hearing Representatives, District Office Mail & File Sections.)
WS/WR - REFERRAL/RESPONSE FORM
CE’s Signature: __________________________________ Date: _________________________
SCE’s Signature: _________________________________ Date: _________________________
DD’s Signature: __________________________________ Date: ________________________
Signature: _______________________________ Date: __________________________