File Numbering

The Iowa Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) requires electronic filing (eFiling) on the Workers' Compensation Electronic System (WCES).

With the implementation of WCES, DWC is transitioning to a new file numbering system. The transition to the new file numbering will mean that cases before the Iowa Workers' Compensation Commissioner may have different file numbering styles. File numbering will depend on the date on which the first report of injury (FROI) and petition are filed.

This page contains information about DWC file numbering and examples of file numbering during the transition to the new WCES file numbering system.

Before WCES, DWC used two file numbering systems.

Before WCES went live on July 22, 2019, DWC used two file numbers for workers' compensation claims:

  1. Compliance number (e.g., 1699123); and, if needed,
  2. Litigation number (e.g., 5987123).

DWC used two different file numbers because the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and DWC case management system (CMS) has a limited ability to interface. EDI had its own compliance number created when a FROI was filed. DWC gave a contested case a litigation file number if a claimant filed a petition with the agency.

DWC will continue to use file numbers assigned before WCES went Live.

DWC will use pre-WCES compliance and litigation case numbers until a case or claim is closed.

If you filed a pre-WCES petition in arbitration, you will use that litigation file number for all filings relating to the petition.

If the parties agree to settle a case in which the petition in arbitration pre-dated WCES, the parties must use the pre-WCES compliance and litigation file numbers on the settlement documents.

DWC will use the pre-WCES litigation file number as the base number for contested case proceedings.

DWC will use the 5000000 litigation number assigned to a case as the number for the petition in arbitration. DWC will add decimals to the pre-WCES base litigation number assigned to a case for contested case proceedings initiated by the filing of a petition on or after July 22, 2019.

Before WCES, the FROI file number did not reflect the year in which it was filed.

Before WCES went live on July 22, 2019, DWC assigned a compliance number when the employer/insurance carrier filed a FROI on EDI. Pre-WCES in 2019, this number started with "16." DWC will use the pre-WCES FROI compliance number as the base number when a petition relating to the injury reported in the FROI is filed on WCES.

The First two numbers in a FROI number are Now based on the Year in which the FROI is filed.

The first two numbers of the FROI number are the year in which the FROI was filed.

A FROI filed in 2019 will have "19" as the first two digits in the file number, a FROI filed in 2020 will have "20" as the first two digits in the file number, 2021 will have "21," etc.

The FROI file number is the base file number for each contested case proceeding.

The FROI file number is the base file number for each contested case proceeding in which the petition is filed on or after July 22, 2019. A contested case proceeding is initiated by the filing of a petition. Each petition creates a decimal that is added to the base file number.

DWC uses a new file numbering system when a petition is filed After WCES went live.

DWC began using a new file numbering system when WCES went live on July 22, 2019. WCES includes an interface between EDI and the DWC's CMS. This allows DWC to use one file numbering system for cases in which a petition or FROI was filed on or after July 22, 2019.

DWC May use a combination of the pre-WCES and WCES file numbering.

DWC may use a combination of pre-WCES and WCES filing numbering depending on when the FROI and petition(s) are filed.

DWC uses a decimal point for Each contested case in which the petition is filed after WCES went live.

DWC uses a decimal point for each contested case proceeding relating to the injury reported in the FROI that is filed after WCES went live on July 22, 2019.

Pre-WCES FROI & Pre-WCES Litigation File Number

If the employer/insurance carrier filed a FROI before WCES went live and the claimant filed a petition before WCES went live, the pre-WCES litigation file number (e.g., 5999990) is the base number for contested case proceedings. All filings relating to the petition in arbitration use the pre-WCES lititgation file number (e.g., 5999990). If the claimant files one or more additional petitions on or after July 22, 2019, DWC will use the pre-WCES litigation file number as the base number and add a decimal point for the contested case proceeding initiated by eFiling a petition on WCES (e.g., 5999990.01, 5999990.02, 5999990.03, etc.). 

Pre-WCES FROI & No Pre-WCES Litigation File Number

If the employer/insurance carrier filed a FROI before WCES went live and the claimant files a petition after WCES went live, the pre-WCES FROI file number (e.g., 1699990) is the base number for contested case proceedings. DWC will add a decimal point for each contested case proceeding initiated by eFiling a petition on WCES relating to the injury reported in the FROI (e.g., 169990.01, 169990.02 169990.03, etc.).

WCES FROI & Petition

If the employer/insurance carrier filed a FROI after WCES went live and the claimant files a petition after WCES went live, the FROI file number (e.g., 19899990) is the base number for contested case proceedings. DWC will add a decimal point for each contested case proceeding initiated by eFiling a petition on WCES relating to the injury reported in the FROI (e.g., 19899990.01, 19899990.02, 19899990.03, etc.).

Examples 

The following are hypothetical examples intended to illustrate how the file numbering system would work in different scenarios.

Example 1 

The following is a hypothetical intended to illustrate how the FROI and litigation file numbering system works when the FROI and petitions pre-date WCES.

FROI Compliance File Number:  1699999

An employee sustains a work injury on December 15, 2018. The employer/insurance carrier files a FROI on December 20, 2018. DWC assigns the FROI the compliance file number:  1699999.

Arbitration File Number:  5987123

The employee files a petition in arbitration on January 10, 2019. DWC assigns the litigation file number 5987123 to the case.

Alternate Care Litigation File Number:  5987123

The employee files a petition concerning application for alternate care on February 1, 2019. DWC uses the litigation file number 5987123 for the contested case proceeding. The claimant dismisses the petition concerning application for alternate care without prejudice. DWC grants the dismissal without prejudice on February 10, 2019. 

Arbitration File Number:  5987123

On August 1, 2019, after WCES went live, the parties reach a settlement agreement regarding the injury relating to FROI compliance file number 1699999 and litigation file number 5987123. The parties submit settlement documents that include the compliance and litigation file numbers. DWC approves the settlement. DWC closes the compliance and litigation files.

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Example 2 

The following is a hypothetical intended to illustrate how the FROI and litigation file numbering system works when the FROI and petition in arbitration pre-date WCES, but the petition concerning application for alternate care post-dates WCES.

FROI Compliance File Number:  1699998

An employee sustains a work injury on December 1, 2018. The employer/insurance carrier files a FROI on December 10, 2018. DWC assigns the FROI the compliance file number:  1699998.

Arbitration File Number:  5987124

The employee files a petition in arbitration on January 11, 2019. DWC assigns the litigation file number 5987124 to the case.

Alternate Care Litigation File Number:  5987124.01

The employee files a petition concerning application for alternate care on July 22, 2019, after WCES went live. DWC uses the litigation file number 5987124 as the base number and adds the decimal ".01" to it for the contested case proceeding. The claimant dismisses the petition concerning application for alternate care without prejudice. DWC grants the dismissal without prejudice on July 28, 2019. DWC closes the contested case proceeding with the file number 5987124.01.

Arbitration File Number:  5987124

On September 15, 2019, after WCES went live, the parties reach a settlement agreement regarding the injury relating to FROI compliance file number 1699998 and litigation file number 5987124. The parties submit settlement documents that include the compliance and litigation file numbers. DWC approves the settlement. DWC closes the compliance and litigation files.

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Example 3 

The following is a hypothetical intended to illustrate how the FROI and litigation file numbering system works when the FROI pre-dates WCES and, post-WCES, the claimant files multiple petitions.

FROI Compliance File Number:  1699996

An employee sustains a work injury to the employee's back on November 29, 2018. The employer/insurance carrier files a FROI on December 5, 2018, that identifies November 29, 2018, as the date of injury. DWC assigns the FROI the compliance file number:  1699996.

Arbitration File Number:  1699996.01

The claimant files a petition in arbitration on August 1, 2019, alleging a back injury with November 29, 2018, as the date of injury. DWC assigns the contested case proceeding the litigation file number:  1699996.01.

Alternate Care File Number:  1699996.02

On September 2, 2019, the claimant files a petition concerning application for alternate care relating to the allged back injury of November 29, 2018. DWC assigns the contested case proceeding the litigation file number:  1699996.02. The claimant dismisses the petition without prejudice on September 9, 2019. DWC dismisses the petition without prejudice that same day. DWC closes the case.

Arbitration File Number:  1699996.01

After an arbitration hearing, a deputy commissioner issues an arbitration decision in File Number 1699996.01. The claimant files an appeal of the decision. The defendants file a cross-appeal. The Commissioner issues an appeal decision in File Number 1699996.01. Neither party seeks judicial review. DWC closes the case.

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Example 4 

The following is a hypothetical intended to illustrate how the post-WCES file numbering system works when the FROI and petitions are filed on or after July 22, 2019, with the FROI filed before any of the petitions.

FROI File Number:  198997123

An employee sustains an injury on the job. The employer/insurance carrier files a FROI in 2019. DWC assigns a FROI number with "19" as the first two digits:  198997123.

Alternate Care File Number:  19897123.01

The first petition filed relating to the injury reported in the FROI concerns an application for alternate care. DWC will assign a litigation file number to the contested case proceeding with a ".01" added to the FROI file number:  19897123.01. The claimant dismisses without prejudice the petition concerning application for alternate care. DWC dismisses the petition without prejudice. DWC closes this contested case.

IME File Number:  19897123.02

The second petition filed relating to the injury reported in the FROI concerns an independent medical examination (IME). DWC assigns a litigation file number to this second contested case proceeding with a ".02" added to the FROI file number:  19897123.02. The defendants agree to pay for the IME without a hearing. DWC issues an order for the IME. DWC closes this contested case.

Arbitration File Number:  19897123.03

The next petition filed relating to the injury reported in the FROI is a petition in arbitration. DWC assigns a litigation file number to this third contested case proceeding with a ".03" added to the FROI number:  19897123.03. The parties reach an agreement to settle the case. DWC approves the parties' settlement. DWC closes this contested case.

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Example 5

The following is a hypothetical intended to illustrate how the post-WCES file numbering system works when the FROI and petitions are filed on or after July 22, 2019, with the petition in arbitration filed before the FROI.

Arbitration File Number:  19897124.01

An employee files a petition in arbitration alleging a work injury on August 1, 2019. No FROI is on file. DWC assigns a litigation file number with "19" as the first two digits and a ".01" at the end:  19897124.01. DWC will hold the assigned file number with "19" as the first two digits for any FROI that the employer/insurance carrier may file after receiving the petition:  19897124.

FROI File Number:  19897124

DWC held the FROI file number for the FROI filed by the employer/insurance carrier in this case. On September 9, 2019, the FROI was filed. DWC assigns the "19" number it held for the FROI when the petition in arbitration was filed:  19897124.

Alternate Care File Number:  19897124.02

The employee files a petition concerning application for alternate care on October 1, 2019. DWC assigns a litigation file number to this second contested case proceeding with a ".02" added to the FROI number:  19897124.02. After a hearing, a deputy commissioner issues an alternate care decision. Neither party seeks judicial review under Iowa Code chapter 17A. DWC closes this contested case.

Alternate Care File Number:  19897124.03

The employee files a second petition concerning application for alternate care on December 1, 2019. DWC assigns a litigation file number to this third contested case proceeding with a ".03" added to the FROI number:  19897124.03. After a hearing a deputy commissioner issues an alternate care decision. Neither party seeks judicial review. DWC closes the contested case.

Arbitration File Number:  19897124.01

DWC holds an arbitration hearing in litigation file number 19897124.01. A deputy commissioner issues an arbitration decision. Neither party appeals the decision to the Commissioner. DWC closes this contested case.

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Example 6

The following is a hypothetical intended to illustrate how the FROI and litigation file numbering system works when the FROI pre-dates WCES and, post-WCES, the claimant files multiple petitions, each containing a different alleged date of injury.

FROI Compliance File Number:  1699997

An employee sustains a work injury to the employee's back in late 2018. The employer/insurance carrier files a FROI on December 9, 2018, that identifies November 30, 2018, as the date of injury. DWC assigns the FROI the compliance file number:  1699997.

Arbitration File Number:  1699997.01

The claimant files a petition in arbitration on July 22, 2019, alleging a back injury with November 30, 2018, as the date of injury. DWC assigns the contested case proceeding the litigation file number:  1699997.01.

Arbitration File Number:  19899989.01

The claimant also files a second petition in arbitration on July 22, 2019, alleging a back injury with December 5, 2018, as the date of injury.

Arbitration File Number:  19899992.01

The claimant also files a third petition in arbitration on July 22, 2019, alleging a back injury with December 27, 2018, as the date of injury.

Motion to Consolidate:  1699997.01, 19899989.01, & 19899992.01

The claimant files a motion to consolidate the three cases into one. The defendants do not resist the motion. DWC grants the motion and conslidates the cases. On WCES the three cases are related cases as part of a consolidated case:  1699997.01, 19899989.01, and 19899992.01.

Settlement:  1699997.01, 19899989.01, & 19899992.01

The parties agree to a settlement. The parties file settlement documents on WCES under all three file numbers:  1699997.01, 19899989.01, & 19899992.01. DWC approves the settlement. DWC closes the consolidated case under all three file numbers.

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