About Us

We’re committed to helping Americans get disability benefits.

Our Mission

The mission of DisabilitySecrets is to demystify the legal process in order to help deserving Americans get disability benefits and workers’ compensation.

Our Philosophy

We believe that people who need benefits to survive should have access to clear, accurate, and up-to-date information—written by professionals, not computers. It’s only fair that people who have spent their working lives paying into the Social Security disability insurance program would get these benefits when they become too ill or injured to work. We also believe that public benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income and veterans compensation, should be easily accessible.

Who We Are

Diana Chaikin, Attorney

DisabilitySecrets Editor

Diana Chaikin is a lawyer who previously worked for the Social Security Administration and later in private practice before coming to DisabilitySecrets and Nolo. With approximately one thousand disability hearings under her belt, Diana has extensive experience representing claimants in front of administrative law judges across the country.

Diana received her J.D. from the Seattle University School of Law. She is admitted to the Washington State Bar and is a member of NOSSCR (National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives).

Bethany Laurence, Attorney

DisabilitySecrets Editor

Bethany Laurence is a member of the California State Bar who holds a J.D. from UC Law San Francisco. During law school, she volunteered at a disability law clinic in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco.

Bethany edits the books Nolo's Guide to Social Security Disability and Social Security, Medicare, and Government Pensions for Nolo (among others) and is a member of NOSSCR.

Bethany has been the managing editor of DisabilitySecrets since 2011. 

Aaron Hotfelder, J.D.

DisabilitySecrets Editor

Aaron Hotfelder is a member of the Missouri State Bar who focuses on disability and workers' compensation law. Prior to working as a legal editor, Aaron worked at a law firm as an attorney representing clients in Social Security disability, long-term disability, and workers’ compensation cases.

Aaron's work has been cited by TheStreet.com, U.S. News & World Report, the St. Louis University Law Journal, and the Minnesota Law Review, among many other outlets.

What We Do

At DisabilitySecrets, you, the reader, are our top priority. We understand how distressing it can be when you’re unable to work. You need reliable information to help you through a difficult time, and we want to be there to guide you through it. That’s why our articles are edited by lawyers, consistently updated, and presented in easy-to-understand terms. With a lot of misinformation out there, we want you to be confident in the answers you find on our site.

Almost 5,000,000 unique visitors a year come to DisabilitySecrets.com to learn about their rights and get help understanding the disability determination process. We provide information and tools that make it easier for people to understand and apply for:

  • Social Security disability benefits
  • long-term disability insurance
  • short-term disability benefits
  • workers’ compensation
  • veterans benefits
  • state disability benefits, and
  • paid medical leave.

As useful as our articles are, we know that there's often no substitute for the individualized guidance of an attorney. Legal advice and representation—tailored to you and your medical condition—can only come from an expert who’s familiar with your situation. With that in mind, our site offers easy ways to get in touch with attorneys and disability advocates, including our acclaimed partners at Premier Disability Services, LLC.

Premier has helped over 100,000 SSDI and SSI disability applicants win benefits. They have a 4.65-star rating on BBB and a 4.5-star rating from Google Reviews. If Premier isn’t able to take on your case, we’ll connect you with our network of experienced disability lawyers around the country who can help you with your disability claim or represent you at a hearing.

Our History

DisabilitySecrets was started by a Social Security claims examiner in 2004 to help guide people through the (frequently confusing) Social Security disability process.

In 2012, DisabilitySecrets joined the Nolo family. Nolo—founded in 1971 as a DIY legal publisher—has been a pioneer in breaking down legal barriers to get everyday people the information and resources they deserve. 

Over the past 20 years, DisabilitySecrets has helped over 85 million readers.

Our Editorial Standards

We have hundreds of free and professionally written and edited legal articles covering just about every aspect of disability law.

The following standards and practices guide our publishing.

Original Work, Created and Fact-Checked by Humans

Our content is originally researched, written, and edited by human beings. We do not use or publish AI-generated content because of the substantial risk of legal errors.

Our in-house editors are current or former attorneys who together have over 35 years of experience practicing and covering disability law. Each article that we publish has been written or edited by one of these professionals.

Accurate and Transparent Information

Accuracy is our number one goal. That's why:

  • Our contributing attorney writers must have a proven track record of reliably translating the law into plain English.
  • We work only from authoritative research sources.
  • We regularly update our content for changes in disability law that impact our readers.

We strive not to make any mistakes, but we’re not perfect—so we constantly review our articles for accuracy, fixing the (rare) errors we find along the way. 

Moreover, we’re transparent with our readers about their options for resolving their legal situations, even if that means our network of attorneys won’t get their business. To us, serving the reader includes being candid about situations where people might be able to handle their disability claims or other legal issues on their own.

"We want to empower people so they can confidently navigate the disability process—and see the light at the end of the tunnel."

- Diana Chaikin, DisabilitySecrets Editor

Not a Substitute for Advice From an Attorney

Disability law isn’t a one-size-fits-all topic. The goal of our content is to educate readers about disability law generally rather than advising them on what to do in their specific circumstances.

The information we provide is not legal advice and doesn't create attorney-client privilege or any other confidential relationship. On our site, you can connect with an attorney who will be able to provide you legal advice customized to your needs within an attorney-client relationship.