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Dataset: Current Population Survey - Disability Supplement (CPS - Disability Supplement)

Basic Information
Dataset Full Name Current Population Survey - Disability Supplement
Dataset Acronym CPS - Disability Supplement

The Current Population Survey (CPS) - Disability Supplement was conducted in July, 2019 and May 2012 by the Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). It was a supplemental survey to the Current Population Survey (CPS) designed to collect data in specific areas related to the employment of persons with disabilities. Topics include: labor force participation, work history of persons with disabilities, the types of employment barriers faced, workplace accommodations requested and provided. Also collected data regarding participation in, and helpfulness of employment assistance programs and participation in financial assistance programs. 

Key Terms

Employment, Barriers to employment, Work limitations, Workplace accommodations, Career assistance programs, Financial assistance programs

Study Design Cross-Sectional
Data Type(s) Survey
Sponsoring Agency/Entity

Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Health Conditions/Disability Measures
Health Condition(s)


Disability Measures

Ambulatory disability, Cognitive disability, Hearing disability, Independent living disability, Self-care disability, Visual disability, Work limitation

Measures/Outcomes of Interest

Employment, Occupation, Commuting, Working from home, Unemployment, Work accommodations, Job search process, Discouraged workers, Barriers to employment, Medicare, Medicaid,  Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), SSI, SSDI, Worker compensation

Sample Population

Household population ages 15 and older 

Sample Size/Notes

52,967 Households (2019)

57,246 Households (2012)

Unit of Observation


Continent(s) North America

United States

Geographic Coverage


Geographic Specificity

All states, some larger counties, metropolitan areas and cities identified 

See technical documentation for details:

Data Collection
Data Collection Mode

CATI (telephone) survey

Years Collected

2012, 2019

Data Collection Frequency

Twice over a 7 year period (as of 2020)

Strengths and Limitations

Large sample and detailed employment, workplace accommodation and work history questions. Data file includes the May 2012 Basic Monthly CPS data merged with supplement data. Many questions were asked of both persons with and without disabilities allowing for comparisons. A similar supplement was run in 2019 that included many of the same items along with additional questions. 


Survey was a proxy response supplement (a single respondent in the household could provide answers for ALL household members). 

Data Details
Primary Website 

Data Access

Access to CPS supplement datasets: 

    (select "CPS Disability Supplement" in "Select dataset" field)

Data Access Requirements

Public Use Dataset

Summary Tables/Reports

Persons with a disability: barriers to employment, types of assistance, and other labor-related issues (BLS News Release):

2019 Disability Supplement: 

2012 Disability Supplement: 

Access frequencies and download data using Census Data exploration interface: 

Data Components


Similar/Related Dataset(s)

Current Population Survey (CPS)

Selected Papers
Other Papers

Persons with a disability: barriers to employment, types of assistance, and other labor-related issues:

Accommodation Requests: Who Is Asking for What?


Current Population Survey, May 2012: Disability Supplement Technical Documentation:

The development of questions on disability for the Current Population Survey (CPS Disability Supplement)

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The Rehabilitation Research Cross-dataset Variable Catalog has been developed through the Center for Large Data Research & Data Sharing in Rehabilitation (CLDR). The Center for Large Data Research and Data Sharing in Rehabilitation involves a consortium of investigators from the University of Texas Medical Branch, Cornell University's Yang Tan Institute (YTI), and the University of Michigan. The CLDR is funded by NIH - National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, through the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research, the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. (P2CHD065702).

Other CLDR supported resources and collaborative opportunities:

Acknowledgements: This tool was developed through the efforts of William Erickson and Arun Karpur, and web designers Jason Criss and Jeff Trondsen at Cornell University. Many thanks to graduate students Kyoung Jo Oh and Yeong Joon Yoon who developed much of the content used in this tool.

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