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CPS Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS ASEC)

The Current Population Survey (CPS) is a monthly labor force survey, conducted jointly by the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2008, the BLS added the set of six disability questions from the ACS so that they could report employment statistics for the population of people with disabilities. For more on this see: Data on the employment status of people with a disability.

The Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC), collected in February, March, and April of each year, includes questions that have been used to determine if individuals have a “work disability.” The algorithm for work disability status is as follows:

  1. Individuals who have a health problem or disability which prevents them from working or which limits the kind or amount of work they can do (DIS_HP=1)
  2. Individuals who ever retired or left a job for health reasons (DIS_CS=1)
  3. Individuals who are not in the labor force because of a disability (PEMLR=6)
  4. Individuals who did not work at all in the previous year because of illness or disability (RSNNOTW=1)
  5. Individuals under 65 years old who were covered by Medicare (A_AGE<65 and MCARE=1)
  6. Individuals under 65 years old who received Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in previous year (A_AGE<65 and SSI_VAL>0)
  7. Individuals who received VA disability income in previous year (VET_TYP1=1)

Respondents who meet criteria 3-6 are considered to have a severe work disability.

The questions in the CPS ASEC were not designed with the intent of measuring disability specifically. Rather, the questions were intended to measure labor force status or capture certain income sources, of which disability one of a number of factors tested.

One of the key questions used in the determination of work disability involves whether a person is limited in his/her ability to work or unable to work (Criterion #1).

Individuals who are interested in using the CPS ASEC to measure work disability are advised to read the report Uses and limitations of CPS data on work disability [PDF - 92K] before proceeding with this data source.

From 1995 to 2008, the Census Bureau produced tables about the characteristics and mean earnings of people with a work disability. Those tables can be found here. While those tables are no longer being produced, they can be generated with CPS Table Creator.

For more information see:

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Disability |  Last Revised: 2012-11-14T11:35:41.283-05:00