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

Getting Social Security Disability Benefits for Anxiety Disorders
For anxiety disorders, Social Security will want to see documentation that you've been receiving medical treatment for your symptoms.
Top Five Mistakes Social Security Makes on Your Disability Case That Get Your Case Remanded
The Appeals Council will send your case back for another hearing if you can show the judge made a reversible mistake.
Getting Disability Benefits for Panic Disorder
You might qualify for Social Security disability benefits if your panic attacks occur frequently and last long enough to keep you from working.
Understanding Your Unfavorable ALJ Decision (Social Security Disability Denial)
Here's how you can understand an ALJ's decision denying you Social Security disability benefits.
Mental Illness and Social Security Disability
You can qualify for Social Security Disability benefits if your mental illness keeps you from working full-time.
Getting Disability Benefits for COPD, Asthma, or Other Respiratory Disorders
Many Social Security disability applicants suffer from breathing problems that prevent them from meeting the demands of full-time employment.
Disability Benefits for Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that causes changes to the nervous system that can make it difficult to work.
Mistakes ALJs Make That You Can Use in Your Disability Appeal
If you've received an unfavorable or partially favorable decision after your disability hearing, you should examine the Administrative Law Judge's decision for factual or legal errors.
Disability Benefits for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
If symptoms from your carpal tunnel syndrome prevent you from typing or picking up small objects, you might qualify for Social Security disability.
When Using Drugs or Alcohol Can Keep You From Getting Disability Benefits
Social Security can deny you disability benefits when your impairments would go away if you stopped drinking or using drugs,