Diana Chaikin

Attorney · Seattle University School of Law

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

Disability Determination Services (DDS) and Social Security Disability Claims
Examiners at DDS decides both Social Security Disability (SSD) claims and SSI (Supplemental Security Income) disability claims.
Can You Get Disability Benefits for Hepatitis B or C?
If you have greatly reduced liver function as a result of hepatitis B or C, you might qualify for SSDI or SSI.
Can Letters From Friends and Family Help My Disability Case at a Hearing?
Having a well-written letter from a close friend or family member can help convince the judge you are disabled.
If I Get Social Security Disability, Will I Get Health Care Benefits?
If you're eligible for SSDI or SSI, you can also receive health insurance.
Can a Doctor's Note With Work Restrictions Help You Get Disability?
Doctor's notes need to include specific functional restrictions.
Disabled Adult Child Benefits
Adults who are disabled may be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits based on their parents' earnings.
Should I Appeal My Disability Denial to the Appeals Council?
If you are denied Social Security disability benefits at the administrative hearing, you should only appeal further in a few situations.
Disability Benefits for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Once you are diagnosed with ALS, you automatically qualify for disability benefits.
What Is the Date Last Insured (DLI) for Disability Benefits?
In order to qualify for SSDI, you need to show that you were disabled before your date last insured.
Mental Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) Assessment Form
Here is a mental RFC form for your doctor to fill out (a mental medical source statement).