Diana Chaikin


Diana Chaikin is a legal editor specializing in disability law at Nolo. She started writing articles as a freelancer in 2021 and joined the staff in 2022. Diana has worked as a solo practitioner based out of Seattle representing claimants before administrative law judges in Social Security disability hearings.

Education. Diana received a B.A. in Political Science from New York University and a J.D. from Seattle University School of Law, where she served as article editor on the Seattle Journal for Social Justice. During law school, Diana interned at the American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska and Corbis Corporation. She also wrote an article on the Visual Artists Rights Act and how it pertains to outsider artists.

Disability experience. Fresh out of law school, Diana worked as Attorney Advisor for the Social Security Administration Office of Hearings Operations (formerly Office of Disability Adjudication and Review). While there, she worked for several administrative appeals judges to ensure disability decisions met the administration’s standard for quality. She then decided to work on the other side of the bench, successfully representing disability claimants for over 10 years before coming to Nolo.

Goals and interests. Diana finds satisfaction in making complex areas of the law seem intuitive to nonlawyers. She is a member of the Washington State Bar Association and the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR), and is on the board of the Washington Lawyers for the Arts.

Articles By Diana Chaikin

What Happens at a Social Security Disability Hearing?
Disability hearings are short, informal proceedings where you can explain to a judge why you can’t work.
What to Do if Your Social Security Claim Is Denied
The majority of Social Security Disability claims are denied initially. Understanding why your claim was denied is important in order to strengthen your case on appeal.
Getting Disability Benefits for Spinal Cord Injury or Paralysis
If you have a severe spinal cord injury, you could be automatically eligible for Social Security disability benefits.
Disability Benefits for Ilioinguinal Neuralgia
Ilioinguinal neuralgia can interfere with your ability to sit, stand, or walk at work.
What Do SSI Benefits Include?
Supplemental Security Income benefits include more than just a monthly cash payment.
What Happens If You Get Denied by the Appeals Council?
If the Appeals Council denies your SSDI or SSI claim for benefits, you have two options.
Video Hearings vs. In-Person Hearing Disability Hearings: Pros and Cons
Each method of hearing has its benefits, but in-person hearings offer unique advantages.
How Not Complying With Treatment Affects Your Disability Case
If you're filing for disability benefits and don't follow your doctor's treatment orders, Social Security can deny your application.
Disability: No Health Insurance, No Medications, What To Do?
People who can't work often can't pay for medicines or doctors.
The Importance of Vocational Expert Testimony at a Disability Hearing
The testimony of the vocational expert at your Social Security disability hearing can make or break your case.
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You could be eligible for up to $3,345 per month In SSDI Benefits