Title

Capturing the Elusive Working-Age Population With Disabilities: Reconciling Conflicting Social Success Estimates From the Current Population Survey and American Community Survey

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-1-2014

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to examine the implications of using different approaches to estimating the U.S. working-age population with disabilities. The approaches compared are the traditional work-activity limitation question, the Census Bureau's newer six-question sequence that does not include a work-activity limitation question, and the combination of the two. With data from the Current Population Survey and the American Community Survey, the authors demonstrate that using the work-limitation question or the six-question sequence alone results in an underestimate of the size of the working-age population with disabilities (assuming the International Classification of Disability, Health, and Functioning conceptualization of disabilities). Furthermore, the authors show that using the sample of the working-age population with disabilities identified by the six-question sequence will lead to biased estimates of key social policy success parameters; in particular, it will overestimate their employment rates and underestimate the share that are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income-Disabled Adults benefits relative to the broader sample that includes a work-limitation question and the six-question sequence. © Hammill Institute on Disabilities 2012.

Publication Name

Journal of Disability Policy Studies

Volume Number

24

First Page

195

Last Page

205

Issue Number

4

DOI

10.1177/1044207312446226

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