FAQ: Scheduling Hearings on the Workers' Compensation Electronic System (WCES)

Background

Transition to the Workers' Compensation Electronic System (WCES) by the Iowa Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) includes implementation of an online hearing request tool.

The Iowa Workers' Compensation Commissioner issued an order governing implementation of the WCES hearing request tool. To view the order, click here.

Counsel of record for all parties and any self-represented parties to a case must work together to jointly submit a hearing request on WCES.

This page has information about using the WCES hearing request tool.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 

When can you use the WCES hearing request tool to schedule a hearing? 

The order of the Commissioner establishes a tiered rollout of the WCES hearing request tool based on when the petition was filed in a case. The order includes an appendix for ease of reference. To view the order, click here.

Failure to comply with the eligibility requirements for requesting a hearing in the order may result in DWC rejecting your hearing request.

Counsel of record for all parties and any self-represented parties to a case must work together to jointly submit a hearing request on WCES.

Petition filed on or before December 31, 2018 & Cases in Which a Continuance Was Granted

Parties to a case in which a petition was filed on or before December 31, 2018, may request a hearing on WCES from October 14, 2019, through October 18, 2019. If parties to such a case do not request a hearing during this time frame, they must wait until on or after November 4, 2019.

Parties to a case in which DWC granted a continuance and a new hearing date has not been scheduled may request a hearing on WCES from October 14, 2019, through October 18, 2019. If parties to such a case do not request a hearing during this time frame, they must wait until on or after November 4, 2019.

Petition Filed January 1, 2019 – March 31, 2019

Parties to a case in which a petition was filed from January 1, 2019, through March 31, 2019, may request a hearing on WCES from October 21, 2019, through October 25, 2019. If parties to such a case do not request a hearing during this time frame, they must wait until on or after November 4, 2019.

Petition Filed April 1, 2019 – July 31, 2019

Parties to a case in which a petition was filed from April 1, 2019, through July 31, 2019, may request a hearing on WCES from October 28, 2019, through November 1, 2019. If parties to such a case do not request a hearing during this time frame, they must wait until on or after November 4, 2019.

All Qualifying Cases Under Rule 876 IAC 4.19(3)

All cases that qualify under Rule 876 IAC 4.19(3) may request a hearing on WCES on or after November 4, 2019.

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how do you schedule a hearing in a consolidated case? 

A consolidated case is eligible for the parties to request a hearing if one of the petitions in the consolidated case meets the eligibility criteria for requesting a hearing identified in the Commissioner's order.

If your case is a consolidated case, you should do all of the following when submitting a hearing request on WCES:

1)  Submit a hearing request under only one of the DWC file numbers that make up the consolidated case; and

2)  On the "Review and Submit Filing" screen, in the field labeled, "Special Filing Instructions for the Clerk," type a note informing DWC that the case is a consolidated case and list all DWC file number(s) that make up the consolidated case. 

Failure to do the above when submitting a hearing request on WCES in a consolidated case may result in DWC rejecting your request or DWC approving your request but for only one of the DWC file numbers that makes up the consolidated case.

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How do you know if your hearing request is approved? 

DWC will send you a notification on WCES regarding your hearing request.

If DWC approves your hearing request, you will receive a notification of acceptance via WCES. DWC will also issue a hearing assignment order after approval of a hearing request.

You should make sure that your WCES account information is up to date so that you receive WCES notifications at the correct email address(es).

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How do you know if your hearing request is rejected? 

DWC will send you a notification on WCES regarding your hearing request.

If DWC rejects your hearing request, you will receive a notification via WCES that DWC has returned your request to you.

You should make sure that your WCES account information is up to date so that you receive WCES notifications at the correct email address(es).

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What should you do if DWC rejects your hearing request?

If DWC rejects your hearing request, you must work with all other parties to identify a new potential hearing date and submit the request for that date using the WCES hearing request tool.

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Do you use the WCES hearing request tool to schedule a hearing concerning application for alternate care?

No, you do not use the WCES hearing request tool to schedule a hearing concerning application for alternate care.

There is no change to the DWC process for scheduling hearings concerning applications for alternate care. 

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How do you request secondary (backup) hearing and primary hearing dates at a road venue on WCES?

The WCES hearing request tool allows you to request secondary (backup) hearing and primary hearing dates at road venues.

After you select a city that is a road venue on the hearing request page on WCES, you will be able to request secondary (backup) hearing and primary hearing dates at the road venue.

Requesting a secondary (backup) hearing is mandatory. Requesting a primary hearing is optional. If you wish to request a primary hearing, the request must be made in the same submission as the secondary (backup) hearing request on WCES.

NOTE:  The secondary (backup) hearing date must be earlier in time than your primary hearing date.

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Should you call or email DWC to request a hearing?

No, you should not call or email DWC to request a hearing.

WCES sends a notification by email to DWC when a hearing request is submitted. 

DWC will not consider a hearing request submitted by email or phone call unless there is a technical failure in WCES.

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Should you look at the legacy hearing schedule on the DWC website when requesting a hearing? 

No, you should not look at the legacy hearing schedule on the DWC website when requesting a hearing.

The WCES hearing request tool displays only open dates and times for hearings after querying the DWC hearing schedule and the calendar of the presiding deputy workers' compensation commissioner.

NOTE:  After the transition to WCES is complete, DWC will shut down the legacy hearing schedule. The hearing schedule will be hosted on WCES only.

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What should you do if you need to change the date of hearing for a case?

If you need to change the date of hearing for a case, you should eFile a motion to continue on WCES for consideration by the presiding deputy workers' compensation commissioner.

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What should you do if there is a technical failure in WCES that prevents submission of hearing requests?

If there is a technical failure in WCES that prevents you from submitting hearing requests, the Commissioner will issue an order governing the procedures for submitting hearing requests during the time period of the technical failure on WCES. DWC will post any such order on the DWC website. You should comply with any such order of the Commissioner relating to the submission of hearing requests.

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