The National Beneficiary Survey (NBS)
Descriptive Statistics and Reports from the National Beneficiary Survey
NBS Participants Page
National Beneficiary Survey Public Use Files
Round 1 Documentation and Public Use Files
Round 2 Documentation and Public Use Files
Round 3 Documentation and Public Use Files
Round 4 Documentation and Public Use Files
Round 5 Documentation and Public Use Files
Round 6 Documentation and Public Use Files
The National Beneficiary Survey (NBS), sponsored by our Office of Retirement and Disability Policy, provides SSA, Congress, other policymakers, and researchers with information about key health, employment, and socio-demographic factors that contribute to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries’ and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients’ successful or unsuccessful employment efforts. The NBS collects data on a wide range of variables not available in the agency’s administrative systems, including socio-demographic information, health and functional status, health insurance, interest in work, barriers to work, use of services, employment, income, and experience with Social Security programs.
The agency-through its NBS contractor, Mathematica Policy Research-has administered seven rounds of the NBS in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2015, 2017 and 2019. The 2019 data has been collected and is currently under development for release. While each NBS round provides key information on a nationally representative sample of adult SSDI beneficiaries and SSI recipients, the survey typically includes an additional topical module that focuses on a more targeted sample of beneficiaries and recipients. In particular, the first four rounds of the NBS include a topical sample of Ticket to Work program participants, and the 2017-2019 rounds include topical samples of SSDI beneficiaries and SSI recipients who have been successful with work. In addition, the 2019 round incorporates a longitudinal component by re-contacting successful workers from the 2017 sample for follow-up interviews. The 2015 round includes in-depth, qualitative interviews with 91 SSDI beneficiaries and SSI recipients who have been successful with work. The data from the 2017 NBS includes new questions related to circumstances that help or hinder continued success with work, and is currently the latest data available. We anticipate data from the 2019 NBS will be available in fall of 2021.
We conduct the survey using computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI). For beneficiaries who do not respond to the CATI interview or who prefer or require an in-person interview, we follow up using computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI). In an effort to ensure that the survey represents the full range of beneficiary perspectives, we field the survey using procedures that accommodate the needs of respondents with all kinds of disabilities.
All information that we collect for the NBS is strictly confidential and we do not report it in any way that identifies survey respondents. We do not use the information collected for the NBS to determine the continuing eligibility of respondents for disability benefits.We have created Public Use Files for the first six rounds of the NBS. For more information about the Public Use Files, please continue to the NBS Public Use page.
The following report provides key descriptive statistics from the 2015 NBS, including beneficiary characteristics and health, program and service participation, employment interest and activity, job characteristics, and benefits and employment interaction.
March 2018“National Beneficiary Survey: Disability Statistics, 2015”
The following paper, completed as part of the most recent round of the NBS, provides information on the obstacles to finding and maintaining a job and the variety of strategies beneficiaries use to overcome them.
Prior analyses of the NBS data have shown the many factors that can help or hinder a beneficiary’s efforts to find work. To complement the NBS, we used SSA administrative data to identify SSI recipients and SSDI beneficiaries whose patterns of work and earning suggested they had the best odds of reducing their dependence on benefits or leaving the benefit rolls. We conducted in-depth interviews asking them about their benefit experiences and their attempts to find and keep jobs.
The following papers, completed as part of the TTW evaluation, provide general statistics for Social Security beneficiaries with disabilities and TTW program participants. For more information on the TTW evaluation and links to all of the reports, please visit the TTW page.
In this paper, we provide a description of the sampling design and the data collection activities for Round 4 (2010) of the Social Security Administration (SSA) National Beneficiary Survey (NBS). The NBS collects data from a national sample of working-age (age 18 to 64) DI and SSI beneficiaries and a sample of TTW participants. We have completed four rounds of the NBS, in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2010. In this paper, we update the descriptive statistics from the appendices to earlier TTW evaluation reports. In this paper we do not analyze the NBS data, but rather provide a data resource to support the analyses conducted in other papers for the seventh report. It also provides general statistics for Social Security beneficiaries with disabilities and TTW program participants.
In this paper, we provide a description of the sampling design and the data collection activities for Round 3 (2006) of the Social Security Administration (SSA) National Beneficiary Survey (NBS). The NBS collects data from a national sample of working-age (age 18 to 64) DI and SSI beneficiaries and a sample of TTW participants. We have completed three rounds of the NBS, in 2004, 2005, and 2006. In this paper, we update the descriptive statistics from the appendices to earlier TTW evaluation reports. It does not include analysis, but rather is a data resource to support the analyses conducted in other papers for the fifth report and for general information about SSA beneficiaries with disabilities.
The following papers, also completed as part of the TTW evaluation, use NBS data:
Seventh TTW Evaluation Report
Fifth TTW Evaluation Report