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Chartbook on Disability in the U.S.

Section 5: Work and Disabilities

Attempting to count people who have a work disability is somewhat easier than trying to estimate the number of all people with disabilities. In work disability there is an easy-to-survey age group (the working ages - 16-64 or 18-69 depending on the survey) and a specific activity in which to measure ability (work). The Bureau of the Census produces yearly data on work disability from its annual March Income Supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS). It also asks work disability questions in the SIPP. Both ask questions about being prevented or limited in work, retiring or leaving a job because of health or disability. The surveys also ask questions about receipt of Medicare, SSI, or veteran's disability compensation. Another definition of work and disability is provided by the NHIS in its measurement of work limitation, which is also based on the respondent reporting being limited or prevented from work due to a chronic health condition.

Topic Questions:

5.1. How many people are considered to be work disabled?

5.2. How many work disabled persons are in the labor force?

5.3. How many work disabled persons are working full time?

5.4. How has the number of disabled people in the labor force changed over time?

5.5. How do the states differ in numbers of people with work disabilities?

5.6. How many persons have a severe work disability?

5.7. How many people are limited or unable to work because of a health condition?

5.8. What chronic health conditions are the most frequent causes of work limitation?

5.9. How do occupational injuries and illnesses affect work disability?

5.10. What are the earnings of someone with a work disability?

5.11. How many people with disabilities does the Vocational Rehabilitation system help?