Form 104A Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Requirements

August 1, 2013

In our continuing efforts to increase efficiency and reduce costs, the Workers' Compensation Agency is in the midst of several modernization and system enhancements. One of these enhancements involves the application of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to image indexing data from the form 104A, Application for Mediation or Hearing, filed by counsel. These upgrades will enable the Agency to serve our customers with a greater efficiency while positioning the Agency for future operating system upgrades. In the short term, it will enable us to locate a form 104A as soon as it is scanned instead of waiting until its data has been manually input into our data system.

As a result, these process changes require data to be in very specific locations to prevent future problems. This leaves little tolerance for location variation. Therefore, effective September 1, 2013, pursuant to MCL 418.221, the Agency will require that all forms 104A must match exactly those forms found on the Workers' Compensation Agency website, including but not limited to language, block space and positioning, font and dimension. In addition, when data is input into the various forms, an Arial 10 point font must be used, with each field limited to one line of data. The form does not have to be filed on yellow paper.

The form 104A is available for download on the WCA website.

Any form 104A not complying with these requirements filed on or after September 1, 2013, will be rejected and returned unprocessed. In anticipation of these requirements, you should immediately make any necessary modifications to your current systems and processes so that forms filed on or after September 1, 2013 will be in the correct format and not be rejected.

Handwritten or typed forms submitted in proper will continue to be handled as they have in the past but the OCR image indexing will not take place.

As part of the OCR process, please also note that faxed copies of filings will no longer be accepted after September 1st.

Those using Adobe Reader 11 or Adobe Acrobat Pro will be able to save the completed forms on their local computer. Those using prior versions of Reader will not be able to save the completed forms.

Questions regarding these changes or what will be required effective September 1, 2013, should be directed to Ken Smith at 517-322-5937.

We thank you for your continued cooperation as we move through these transitions to better serve you, our customers.

Jack Nolish
Deputy Director