Counting Working-Age People With Disabilities: What Current by Andrew J. Houtenville, David C. Stapleton, Robert R., II

By Andrew J. Houtenville, David C. Stapleton, Robert R., II Weathers, Richard V. Burkhauser

This publication offers a scientific assessment of what present statistics and knowledge on working-age individuals with disabilities can and can't let us know, and the way the standard of the information will be superior to higher tell policymakers, advocates, analysts, carrier prone, directors, and others attracted to this at-risk inhabitants.

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Extra info for Counting Working-Age People With Disabilities: What Current Data Tell Us and Options for Inmprovement

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The Census Bureau has been developing plans to replace the SIPP with a different system for collection of income and program participation data. A new system would be most welcome by disability researchers, analysts, and users of disability statistics if it addressed some of the limitations of the SIPP, but only if it preserved the scope of information that SIPP offers for people with disabilities. We also applaud the efforts of the National Center for Health Statistics, in collaboration with the SSA and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid, to match data from the NHIS and several other surveys to SSA and Medicare records.

Second, it contains a longitudinal component because sample members are rein- The Disability Data Landscape 41 terviewed every four months for between two to four years, depending on the SIPP panel. , how health is related to employment and economic well-being over time). A third advantage is that data users can obtain special permission to link individual-level Social Security Administration (SSA) administrative data on program participation and earnings to SIPP sample members. As described in more detail in Stapleton, Wittenburg, and Thornton (2009), the ability to link the SIPP to SSA administrative records is important for researchers interested in examining longer term trends in earnings and program dynamics among people with disabilities.

These differences include the length of time of the limitation or impairment—some survey questions include qualifiers such as a “long lasting condition” or a condition “lasting six months or longer,” whereas others do not; how a survey question captures the level of difficulty carrying out a task or activity—some surveys ask whether a person has difficulty performing an activity, whereas others ask whether the person needs assistance from another person to do an activity; and the relationship between a health impairment and the performance of an activity—some questions define hearing impairment as a health condition that results in long-lasting deafness, whereas others define hearing impairment as difficulty in hearing what is said in normal conversation even with a hearing aid.

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