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June 1 -- The Social Security Administration (SSA) invites comments to OMB by July 5, 2022 regarding the proposed new Disability Perception Survey (DPS).

The Social Security Administration's (SSA's) Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program provides crucial financial support to individuals unable to work due to a medical condition. Having access to and understanding information about SSDI among working adults is an important factor in connecting people with benefits. The purpose of the survey is to understand the type of information working adults currently have about the SSDI program to improve projections of disability applications and incidence.

SSA is requesting clearance to administer the Disability Perception Survey (DPS) to a sample of working age adult SSDI program recipients, and those who may qualify for this benefit, to capture attitudes and perceptions about SSDI among working-age adults in the general population, and to determine what roles those factors ultimately play in an individual's decision to apply to the program.

The DPS evaluation will consist of two parts: (1) The DPS administered to working-age adults (18 to 64 years of age) SSDI program recipients, and those who may qualify for SSDI benefits; and (2) links of the survey data, including the individuals' social security numbers, to individuals' administrative records for research purpose. SSA will use the data the DPS collects to learn about the average American SSDI adult recipient's knowledge and understanding of the SSDI program and about who qualifies for these benefits. Section 1110(a) of the Social Security Act (Act) gives the Commissioner of Social Security authorization to help fund research or demonstration projects relating to the prevention and reduction of dependency. SSA contracted with NORC at the University of Chicago to conduct the DPS data collection.

The DPS will focus on a series of multiple-choice, open-ended, and vignette-style questions across five topic areas:

General knowledge about the SSDI program, including perspectives on the causes of disability, eligibility requirements, the likelihood of receiving benefits, and the documentation required to apply for the program;

Perceptions about the impact of work-limiting impairments including how and to what degree people with disabilities participate in the workforce, their work outcomes, use of services, barriers to work, and knowledge about SSA programs designed to help beneficiaries find and keep jobs;

Thoughts about SSDI based on personal experience or associations with SSDI beneficiaries and others, the likelihood of receiving benefits due to changes in one's personal health status, the impact of reduced financial resources, and factors considered when deciding whether to apply for SSDI;

Opinions and reactions to how impairments described in brief vignettes of work-limiting and disabling experiences may affect current or future employment; and

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on employment or participation in SSDI or other safety net programs.

The DPS is targeting 5,011 completed interviews among 18-64 year old adults across the U.S. population.

NORC will sample respondents for the study through NORC's AmeriSpeak sampling frame. AmeriSpeak uses a multi-stage probability sample that fully represents the U.S. household population. NORC uses a two-stage process for AmeriSpeak panel recruitment:

• Initial recruitment: NORC will invite panelists to participate in the DPS by email and or SMS text, with an invitation through the AmeriSpeak member web portal, which alerts panelist there is a survey available to them. The participant will receive an email with the survey URL which allows them to log into AmeriSpeak. NORC will also invite panelists who previously indicated their preference for responding to surveys by telephone. For those who request a telephone survey, NORC's telephone interviewers will call the respondent and ask them to participate in the survey, if the respondent wants to participate NORC will conduct the survey.

• Non-response follow-ups: NORC will sample a portion of non-responders and follow-up with a face-to face recruitment of the sampled non-responders. Non-response follow-up reduces non-response bias significantly by improving the representativeness of the AmeriSpeak Panel with respect to certain hard-to-reach segments of the population underrepresented by recruitment relying only on mail and telephone.

Eligibility criteria include those ages 18-64 years old who understand English or Spanish, and who have the ability to provide informed consent as well as a Social Security Number.

DPS webpage: https://www.ssa.gov/disabilityresearch/dps.html
DPS submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202203-0960-002 Click IC List for data collection instruments, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments through this site.
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-11685

For AEA members wishing to submit comments to OMB, the AEA Committee on Economic Statistics offers "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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