I don't believe that is accurate. My understanding is they won't allow you to write ONLY
"personal protection/self defense". You can still write this, but they now want you to also write a paragraph or two explaining what this means to you.
I could be wrong, but I don't believe that the threshold for approval has changed. They just want more than a few words in the good cause section.
In other words, your explanation of why you feel the need to protect yourself doesn't seem to have to meet a threshold that is higher than what they used in the past. This was explained to me in a recent renewal class. They didn't critique what we wrote. They just didn't want two words "personal protection" to be the only thing written in the good cause section.
If people are writing their explanation on the form and getting denied for this sole reason, that is news to me and would represent a definite change in approach. Historically, they approve virtually everyone who is not prohibited.
If someone has recently been denied, I would very much like to hear about it.
EDIT: Our new Sheriff was specifically asked about this very recently and emphatically stated that he strongly believes that non-prohibited residents in his county should be allowed to get an LTC and carry, and that he would be making no changes other than trying to clear up the back log and streamline the process. This is exactly the message we were given in our renewal class. New LTC's showed up in the mail shortly afterwards.