Is the 2010 Affordable Care Act Minimum Standard to Identify Disability in All National Datasets Good Enough for Policy Purposes?
Richard V. Burkhauser, T. Lynn Fisher, Andrew J. Houtenville and Jennifer R. Tennant
Using linked 2009 Current Population Survey (CPS)-Annual Social and Economic Supplement/Social Security Administration records data and a definition of disability based on the six-question disability sequence (6QS) in the CPS-Basic Monthly Survey we perform a face validity test that shows that the 6QS captures only 66.3 percent of those who administrative records confirm are receiving Social Security benefits based on their disability. Adding a work-activity question to the 6QS increases our capture rate by another 23.1 percentage points for a total of 89.3 percent. We find little difference in the distribution of conditions between those who only report a 6QS-based disability and those who only report a work activity-based disability. The four function-related questions in the 6QS do a relatively good job of capturing those receiving benefits based on these conditions. But the work-activity question does a far better job of capturing those receiving benefits than the two activity-related questions in the 6QS.
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