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Office of Workers' Compensation Programs

Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation (DLHWC)


  1. Purpose and Scope. This Chapter of the PM is concerned with the procedures and requirements for creating, assembling, and maintaining the files for individual claims by the Mail and Files Section. The CE makes decisions concerning the claim and actions to be taken; these are discussed in Part 2 of this Manual.
  2. Establishing A Case File. Reports of injury are docketed and jacketed if they contain a Form LS-202 reporting a lost time injury or a death. They may also be docketed and jacketed if they contain a Form LS-201, LS-203, LS-206, LS-208, or LS-262, regardless of whether the injury was reported as a no lost time injury (see PM 1-300.4), or if the injury is reported as NLT but there is evidence indicating lost time, permanent partial disability, occupational disease, and/or disfigurement (see PM 1-300.4c). Also, A case may be created based on receipt of an LS-207 or a medical report where there is information indicating that the case will present serious disputes or that lost time is likely. The creation of a case file signals the beginning of claims processing activity. Opening a case file does not establish eligibility for compensation, but signals that there is a possibility of eligibility. The docketing and jacketing process requires judgment. The Mail and Files Supervisor, or other experienced person designated by the DD, shall have the responsibility of determining which injury reports need not be docketed and jacketed, and which need verification of insurance coverage. All questionable cases shall be referred to the designated individual.
    1. Docketing. Docketing a case means assigning a case file number through the LCMS Case Create Function. Case file numbers include one or two digits indicating the district office number and up to six digits for the sequential number assigned to the case by the Case Create function (e.g., 01-234567).
    2. LCMS Data Entry. Most of the data to be entered during the case creation process is taken directly from the injury report form. However, the Employer ID and Carrier ID sequence numbers are not provided on the injury report forms. To facilitate identification and data entry of these numbers, a current LCMS printout of the district office's employer and carrier listings should be readily available to case create personnel. So as to avoid potential future problems, it is important that care be taken to enter case creation information accurately and correctly into the LCMS.
    3. Jacketing. Jacketing a case means placing the injury reports and related documents in a folder bearing the case number assigned during the docketing process.
    4. Mailing Labels, LS-504 and Case Call-Up. Docketing injury reports through the LCMS Case Create function will result in the automated production of a LS-504 which advises the claimant of his or her rights, and a letter addressed to the employer/carrier advising them of the case number. The LCMS will also automatically establish a thirty day call-up for subsequent CE review of the case.
    5. Timeliness of Case Creation. It is imperative that all cases be docketed and jacketed as soon as possible after reports are received. In all instances they must be docketed and jacketed within 7 days of the date of receipt.
    6. Routing. After the new cases have been docketed and jacketed, they should be sent to the CE as designated by local office procedure. Usually the last two digits of the case number determine the CE who will receive the case, but there are other acceptable methods of assigning cases to CEs.
  3. Duplicate Cases. There are occasions when, through error, two cases are made for the same injury. After confirmation by the Mail and Files Supervisor or other designated individual that duplicate files have in fact been created, the following actions should be taken:
    1. Merge the File Material. All correspondence, forms, etc., in the case with the higher file number should be renumbered and attached to the inside front cover of the case with the lower file number.
    2. Delete the Case From LCMS. Delete the higher number case from the LCMS using the LCMS Case Delete function. It should be noted that use of the Case Delete function is limited to the DD.
    3. Notification of Deletion. Since the claimant and EC were notified of the assignment of the case number, correspondence should be sent to both advising that the higher number case was found to be a duplicate of a previously created case, that all correspondence and forms already on record have been placed in the earlier case file, and that all future correspondence should refer only to the lower number.
    4. Reissue the Folder. The higher number case folder should be reissued to a new case as soon as possible Creating a new case using the previously used case folder must be done through the LCMS Supplemental Screen, Case Create.
  4. Multiple Claims for One Injury. Occasionally, multiple claims by one employee for a single injury may be filed against several employers. Only one case should be created for the injury. Specifically, when an injury to a claimant (e.g., asbestosis or hearing loss) results in claims against several employers, a determination should be made as to which is the last responsible employer and only one case should be created, using that employer. If other employers are joined, enter their names on the Notes Tab on the Claims Screen in the LCMS. If later it is determined that another employer is the responsible employer, simply update the case record using the Basic Data Screen. Where it cannot initially be determined which employer is the responsible employer, leave this field blank when creating the case, since it is not a required field. This information may be added later as appropriate.
  5. Additional Hearing Loss Claim. Whenever there is a new claim for additional hearing loss, a case file should be created (cross reference should be noted in each case file). Keep in mind that this is different from the situation where an employee files a number of claims against multiple employers for the same injury (hearing loss or other type of injury). In that situation only one case should be created (See Chapter 1-400.4., above).