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Office of Workers' Compensation Programs
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Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation (DLHWC)

 

October 31, 2014

INDUSTRY NOTICE No. 148

TO: INSURANCE CARRIERS AND SELF-INSURED EMPLOYERS UNDER THE LONGSHORE AND HARBOR WORKERS’ COMPENSATION ACT (LHWCA), AND ITS EXTENSIONS, AND OTHER INTERESTED PERSONS

SUBJECT:  The Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP), Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation (DLHWC) Secure Electronic Access Portal (SEAPortal)

The DLHWC has launched the SEAPortal, a new electronic portal stakeholders may use to submit case-related documents. The SEAPortal is an OWCP sponsored web-based application that can be accessed from the OWCP/DLHWC website. Stakeholders include injured workers, employers/carriers, their representatives and OWCP certified vocational rehabilitation counselors.  

Any person with an internet connection and specific information about a DLHWC case can upload documents directly into a case file. Users do not have to register or enroll to use the SEAPortal. To file a document through the SEAPortal, a user needs the OWCP case number and the claimant’s last name, date of birth and date of injury.   (If OWCP has not yet assigned a case number, send the LS-201, LS-202, LS-203 or LS-262 to the DLHWC Central Case Create site in New York at the following address:  U. S. Department of Labor, OWCP/DLHWC, 201 Varick Street, Room 740, Post Office Box 249, New York, NY 10014-0249.)

The SEAPortal provides stakeholders with important advantages over other means of submitting documents to the DLHWC.

  • Electronic submission of documents speeds delivery of documents to the DLHWC, eliminating delays and costs associated with more traditional delivery methods.  This is particularly advantageous for overseas mail.
  • Documents submitted through the SEAPortal will usually be viewable in the OWCP case file by the Claims Examiner (CE) within 4 hours of submission.  This is substantially less than the time it takes documents to be received and scanned into the electronic case file if sent in hard copy or via fax.  The SEAPortal may also facilitate dispute resolution during informal conferences by providing the CE with timely access to pertinent documents.
  • Users will be able to track when a document has been uploaded into the case file with a Document Control Number (DCN).  The system assigns a DCN to each document upon submission.

Use of the SEAPortal for filing documents with the DLHWC is optional.  Copies of documents submitted through the SEAPortal will not automatically be provided to the other parties of record.  Stakeholders who use the SEAPortal to submit documents must still serve copies of those documents on all parties other than the OWCP/DLHWC.

ACTIONS:

1.       To access the SEAPortal, visit the OWCP/DLHWC website and look for the link.

http://www.dol.gov/owcp/dlhwc/   

Or access the SEAPortal directly at:

https://seaportal.dol-esa.gov

2.       To access a case through the SEAPortal, enter the following pieces of information: OWCP case number, claimant’s last name, claimant’s date of birth, and the date of injury.  If these pieces of information do not match the OWCP case data exactly, a document cannot be successfully uploaded.

3.       The SEAPortal provides step by step instructions regarding how to upload a document. The following document formats can be uploaded: .tif and .pdf.  No other document types can be uploaded.  

4.       There are page limits ranging from 3 to 50 pages depending on the type of document being uploaded and a size limit of 5mb.  If the document exceeds either of these limits, it will be necessary to break the submission into portions that come within the size limits.  Indicate directly on the documents being submitted that the submission consists of more than one part.

5.       When uploading a document, the SEAPortal requires that an “author date” be provided for each document.  The date of the document should be used as the “author date,” e.g., the date of the narrative letter, the date a form was signed, the date of the settlement application, the date of the medical report, etc.

If you are uploading multiple documents of the same type with different author dates in the same submission, use the author date of the most recent document. For instance, if a claimant’s medical documents span multiple treatment dates, place the most current document on top, sequence the other medical reports in reverse chronological order, and use the most recent date as the “author date.”

If the document has no author date (e.g. a diagram or picture of a map), use the date the document is uploaded as the “author date.”

6.       When uploading a document, the SEAPortal also requires that the document be identified by category from the list provided.  This is required for efficient routing and review of the document.  However, regardless of the category chosen, the document will still be routed to the case file.  The following categories are available:

  • Informal Conference Request - Use when submitting a request for an informal conference.  If documentation is submitted with the request, e.g. a medical report or wage information, it may be included as part of the same document.
  • Formal Hearing Request (LS-18) - Use when submitting an LS-18 for referral to the Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ).
  • Settlement Application (8i) – Use when submitting a settlement application.  Pertinent documents in support of the application should be submitted with the request.
  • Special Fund Application (8f) – Use when submitting an application for relief from the Special Fund.  Pertinent documents in support of the application should be submitted with the request. 
  • Copy Request – Use when submitting a request for a copy of a case file or certain documents within a case file.
  • Longshore Form – Use when submitting any OWCP/DLHWC form except:  (1) forms to have a case created (e.g., LS-201, LS-202, LS-203 or LS-262, which are sent to the Central Case Create site); and (2) a Formal Hearing Request (LS-18), which has its own category.  Forms LS-206, LS-207, LS-208, LS-200, and others fall into this category.  Submit each form individually. 
  • Medical Reports – Use when submitting medical records and medical expert reports.  If submitting multiple reports at one time, place the most current document on top and sequence the other medical reports in reverse chronological order.
  • Other Correspondence – Use when submitting any document that is not already included in one of the more specific categories noted above. Documents in this category include an inquiry to the Claims Examiner, an application for attorney fee approval, labor market surveys, wage statements, notice of appearance, authority to represent, stipulations, change of addresses, etc.
  • DOL Vocational Rehabilitation – This document category is to be used by OWCP certified Rehabilitation Counselors for submission of documents to the OWCP Rehabilitation Specialists.

7.       The SEAPortal will capture the date the document is uploaded by the user.  This will be displayed in the SEAPortal as the “Upload Date.”  For purposes of calculating deadlines, the Upload Date will be considered the date the document was both sent to OWCP and received by OWCP. 

8.       Once a document is uploaded, a Document Control Number (DCN) will be provided.  The DCN can be used to verify the status of the document.  There are two statuses:  Received and Processed.

Received – This status means that the document has been uploaded and received by the system; it is waiting to be routed to the proper electronic case file where it can be viewed by DLHWC staff.

Processed - This status means that the document is now officially part of the OWCP case file and viewable by DLHWC staff.

The SEAPortal, however, can only be used to verify that the OWCP received the document, and not when or if OWCP or another party has taken any action in response to the document.  Any stakeholder having a question about a document that has been submitted should contact the servicing District Office.

9.       When required, serve a copy of the documents submitted through the SEAPortal on all other parties of record except the OWCP/DLHWC.

10.     The SEAPortal cannot be used to submit documents directly to the Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ) or the Benefits Review Board (BRB).  Refer to the OALJ and BRB websites for information and instructions on how to submit documents to those entities. 

 

Any general questions concerning this Industry Notice may be directed to the DLHWC Branch of Policy, Regulations and Procedures, Washington, DC.  You may also visit our website or the SEAPortal website referenced in #1 to find a list of questions and answers related to this new electronic document submission feature.

 

 

ANTONIO A. RIOS
Director, Division of
Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation