Once again the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has upheld a state’s rights to protect employees that have long-term disability insurance policies issued by their employers. In an opinion filed on October 27, 2009, three circuit judges on the ninth circuit reached a unanimous decision that a state’s practice of disapproving insurance policies that contain clauses that vest insurers with discretion in how they process long-term disability claims and who they issue these claims to is legal and does not conflict with Federal law. The court agreed that a discretionary clause in a long-term disability plans is not valid. This is a major victory for disability claimants; however this ruling is only binding in the following states: Washington, Oregon, Montana, California, Arizona, Idaho and Nevada.
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