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You are here: Census.govPeople and HouseholdsDisability MainMethodologyHow Disability Data are Collected › The Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP)

The Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP)

The SIPP is a longitudinal survey conducted over a period of 3 to 5 years. During each interview or “wave”, supplemental questionnaires or “topical modules (TM)” touch on different topics. Three topical modules cover disability specifically:

  • Work Disability History TM (2008 Panel, wave 2)
  • Adult Functional Limitations TM (2008 Panel, wave 6)
  • Child Functional Limitations TM (2008 Panel, wave 6)

In the 2008 SIPP, the six disability questions used in the ACS were added to the Medical Expenses and Utilization of Health Care TM (waves 4/7/10).

The Adult and Child Functional Limitations TMs serve as the data source for the Americans With Disabilities P70 report series. The SIPP disability questions cover:

  • Limitations in functional activities - seeing, hearing, speaking, walking, using stairs, grasping, lifting and carrying
  • Activities of daily living (ADLs) – difficulty getting around inside the home, getting in/out of a bed/chair, bathing, dressing, eating, and toileting
  • Instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) – difficulty going out, managing money, preparing meals, doing housework, taking prescriptions, and using the phone
  • Use of assistive aids such as wheelchairs, crutches, canes, or walkers
  • Presence of conditions related to mental functioning
  • Difficulty working at a job or business
  • Disability status of children including developmental disabilities, learning disabilities, and difficulty with schoolwork.

Figure 1: from the Americans with Disabilities: 2010 report [PDF - 106.71KB] report describes the definition of severe and nonsevere disability. For a full description of the programming code/logic, see recoding SIPP disability variables.

While the disability measure covers a broader spectrum of activities, a drawback to the SIPP as a data source is the relatively small sample size.

In the 2008 SIPP, the six disability questions used in the ACS were added to the Medical Expenses and Utilization of Health Care TM (waves 4/7/10). While a less comprehensive measure of disability, these questions capture core concepts of disability.

In addition to disability specific information, the Informal Caregiving TM (2008 Panel, wave 9) collects information about those who care for family members or friends with ADL and IADL limitations.

For more information see:

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Disability |  Last Revised: 2012-11-16T10:08:59.11-05:00