Is the 2010 Affordable Care Act minimum standard to identify disability in all national datasets good enough for policy purposes?
We provide a face validity test of the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) approved minimum six-question sequence (6QS) to capture the population with disabilities. Using linked 2009 Current Population Survey/Social Security Administration records data we find that the 6QS captures 66.3% of those whom administrative records confirm are receiving disability-based Social Security benefits. Adding a work-activity question increases our capture rate to 89.3%. We find little difference in the distribution of conditions of those reporting only a 6QS-based disability and those only reporting a work activity-based disability. The four function-related questions do a relatively good job of capturing beneficiaries based on these conditions. But the work-activity question does a far better job of capturing beneficiaries than do the two activity-related questions. We conclude that the 6QS is fundamentally flawed and that any minimum standard for capturing the population with disabilities must include a work-activity question.
Journal of Economic and Social Measurement
Burkhauser, Richard V.; Fisher, T. Lynn; Houtenville, Andrew J.; and Tennant, Jennifer R., "Is the 2010 Affordable Care Act minimum standard to identify disability in all national datasets good enough for policy purposes?" (2015). Faculty Articles Indexed in Scopus. 983.