The National Survey on Health and Disability (NSHD)

Background and Overview

NSHD Publications

NSHD Data Figures

NSHD Data Requests

NSHD Domains (scroll to bottom of this page)

Using the National Survey on Health and Disability Panel to Document the COVID-19 Pandemic Experiences of Working-Age Americans with Disabilities

This project builds upon the success of the existing National Survey on Health and Disability (NSHD) -and develops partnerships with other NIDILRR-funded projects to develop survey questions, analyze data using appropriate methods, and assure activities are conducted in a rigorous and timely fashion. Use of the well-established NSHD provides the opportunity for collecting longitudinal, pre- and post-pandemic, data. The NSHD has been fielded in 2018, 2019/2020, 2021 and 2022.

Objectives include:

  1. Develop, pilot, and administer the fourth wave of the NSHD with COVID-19 supplement (Summer 2022) with the established NSHD sample and analyze using appropriate methods, with comparisons to the general population;
  2. Conduct structured interviews with selected NSHD participants (Fall 2022-Winter 2023) to fully understand a variety of pandemic experiences across diverse racial/ethnic, sexual, gender, geographic, age, employment, and disability groups;
  3. Conduct a call for proposals for additional COVID-19-related questions from other NIDILRR researchers (Spring 2023); and
  4. Administer the fifth wave of NSHD with COVID-19 supplement (Winter 2023/24), including questions from other NIDILRR researchers, addressing issues identified via Year 2 interviews, and new pandemic-related issues as they arise.

Findings will be used to develop policy briefs, consumer resources, scholarly journal articles, and specific policy and practice recommendations to address identified pandemic-related issues that affect the health and function, employment, and/or community living of Americans with disabilities. Anticipated outcomes of project activities include increased knowledge of the impact of COVID-19 and improved policies and practices.

The list below provides the content domains of the NSHD. Please note not all domains are included in every wave.

  1. Health Status
  2. Transportation
  3. Housing
  4. Personal Assistance Services (PAS)
  5. Community Participation & Social Isolation
  6. SSI, SSDI, & other benefits
  7. Employment
  8. Insurance Coverage (including uninsured)
  10. Unmet health care needs, by type of service
  11. Impact of delaying/foregoing types of care
  12. Household income (as % of FPL)
  13. Tech usage
  14. Demographics
  15. Multiple measures of disability
  16. Proxy items
  17. Identifiers for longitudinal NSHD analyses


For more information: 

Jean P Hall,

Noelle K Kurth,

Kelsey Shinnick Goddard, Project

Funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR, #90IFRE0050)