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Glossary of WCB Terms

Flat File Transmission of Claim Information


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a flat file and how does my company send it to the Board?
  2. Does my company send the same information in flat files as if paper forms were submitted?
  3. Which Claim forms can be submitted in flat files?
  4. Does my company receive any confirmation after sending the flat files to the Board?
  5. How does my company begin the process of sending Claim data in flat files to the Board?
  6. Does someone from my company need to sign anything like a Trading Partner Agreement?
  7. Does my company need to send paper forms in addition to the flat files?

1.  What is a flat file and how does my company send it to the Board?

A flat file is a data processing format that contains form data without any presentation format. Flat files are usually submitted by large companies that submit high volumes of forms. The company's computer staff writes the computer programs to produce the files in the specified format. Then the programs are periodically run to prepare the files containing the Claim form data, for transmission to the Board.

Flat files are commonly sent to the Board using an automated computer-to-computer transfer called FTP (File Transfer Protocol), but they can also be manually uploaded to the Board using a web browser. The Board does not accept flat files in e-mails.

The flat file formats are proprietary, i.e., unique to New York State.

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2.  Does my company send the same information in flat files as if paper forms were submitted?

Yes. The data supplied in the flat file parallels the data submitted in the corresponding paper forms.

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3.  Which Claim forms can be submitted in flat files?

List of Claim Forms in Flat File Format. Forms are periodically added to this list.

Before a Claim form is available to be submitted via flat file, an extensive review and coordination of tasks is performed by the Board's Operations Office, Counsel's Office, Continuous Improvement Office and Data Processing Office to prepare the form specifications for flat file submission.

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4.  Does my company receive any confirmation after sending the flat files to the Board?

Yes. The Board sends an e-mail to the e-mail address designated in each flat file sent to the Board. The e-mail states whether the file was accepted or rejected.

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5.  How does my company begin the process of sending Claim data in flat files to the Board?

First read Overview/Features to understand what the program is about. If you have a question, please contact the NYS Workers' Compensation Board Help Desk and someone will get back to you. If your company is interested, your company's technical representative should register on-line for this program. After registering, your company's technical representative will be contacted by a staff member for the Board. Technical staff at the Board will be available to help your company through the process, which culminates in your company sending production Claim data in flat files. At any point in time, if your company determines they don't want to participate in this program, your company may cancel their participation.

The basic steps your company performs to reach the goal of sending production Claims data in flat files to the Board, are listed below:

  1. Register online
  2. Sign the legal agreement
  3. Data processing staff write the programs to produce the flat files
  4. "Test" flat files are sent to the Board and successfully tested
  5. Determine the date your company would like to start sending flat files with production data and simultaneously stop sending paper forms

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6.  Does someone from my company need to sign anything like a Trading Partner Agreement?

Yes. A legal agreement must be signed before actual testing can begin.

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7.  Does my company send paper in addition to the flat files?

No. Once a production start date has been agreed upon by your company's representative and the Board, and your company is sending production Claim data in flat file format to the Board, your company should no longer send paper forms for the same transactions as contained in the flat files.

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