With this type of disability claim, long-term coverage is provided through an employer group disability insurance policy or through an employer self-funded plan. The coverage is regulated by a federal law known as ERISA, which stands for Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
Unfortunately, ERISA law clearly favors insurance companies and falls short in protecting the rights of the disabled. For example, you are not entitled to have your case tried before a jury. Usually, a judge decides the case based upon the written evidence in the insurance company's file. Furthermore, you cannot get compensatory or punitive damages.
Although California has passed numerous regulations to keep insurance companies from acting in bad faith and wrongfully denying these types of claims, ERISA law more likely than not will preempt California law, thereby protecting and shielding the insurance company for their wrongful conduct.