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
Find out why Social Security sent you a medical denial letter for your disability claim.
Dysthymia is a psychological disorder characterized by depression and anhedonia.
Does having both clinical depression and anxiety make it any easier to get disability benefits?
You can receive disability benefits for PTSD if you can show Social Security that your symptoms heavily interfere with your life.
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.
The Quick Disability Determination Process allows some claimants to get disability benefits much faster than the regular process.
If you've received a diagnosis of spondylolisthesis, retrolisthesis, or laterolisthesis, you probably have lots of questions. If you're currently working, you're likely wondering how long you can continue to work with the condition. If you've stopped working, you might want to know if you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) as a result of your diagnosis.
If you're experiencing multiple or severe symptoms of inflamed blood vessels that are preventing you from working, you may qualify for disability benefits.
Corticobasal degeneration that severely affects your movement or mental capacities should qualify you for disability benefits.
Ataxia can result in impaired coordination that may prevent you from working.