SSA Solicitation: Disability Research Surveys (DRS) Design, Implementation and Management

Notice ID 28321321R00000027

“The purpose of this contract is to design, administer, and document the results of three surveys that constitute the Disability Research Surveys (DRS).  The contractor shall administer the three surveys in the following order: (1) The National Beneficiary Survey (NBS), (2) a New Applicant Survey (NAS), and (3) a survey to be determined (TS).  The NBS represents one survey that administers two subsamples that SSA has previously administered; however, the NAS and the TS are new to the Social Security Administration (SSA)…”

“National Beneficiary Survey (NBS)

The NBS is a long-standing survey that produces two samples from the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients’ populations: The Representative Beneficiary Sample (RBS) and the Cross-sectional Successful Worker Sample (SWS).  The NBS collects information on beneficiary health and well-being, employment-related goals, activities, functional status, health insurance coverage, interest in work, barriers to work, use of services, work history, income, and experience with Social Security programs and use of programs and services. The RBS is a nationally representative cross-sectional sample of SSDI beneficiaries and SSI recipients on a wide range of topics not available in SSA administrative data or in other public databases.  The SWS is a representative cross-sectional sample of beneficiaries who have succeeded in earning amounts sufficient to have benefits suspended due to work.  In this contract, unless otherwise instructed by the Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR), the contractor shall be re-administering the survey instrument from the 2019 NBS contract.  SSA will not be administering the SWS longitudinal survey…”

“New Applicant Survey (NAS)

The NAS will produce a nationally representative sample of individuals who have recently applied for SSDI or SSI.  The NAS is a new survey initiative that will require the development of a survey instrument. The purpose of the NAS is to provide information about individuals who apply for SSDI or SSI benefits.  This information will help SSA understand more about their experiences before and during the application process and pathways taken after their application to identify potential policies or interventions that could improve their experience or support later work efforts. The survey will include a sample of new applicants who receive awards or denials for benefits at different stages of the application process for benefits at different stages of the application process…”

“Third Survey (TS)

The TS is a new survey initiative that will produce information concerning SSA applicants, DI beneficiaries and/or SSI recipients. The size and complexity of the TS will be similar to the NBS and NAS surveys…”

“Survey Schedule

The contractor shall field the DRS surveys over several years. The contractor shall administer the NBS in fiscal year 2023, the NAS in fiscal year 2025, and the TS in fiscal year 2026…”

“Survey Phases: …

  • Design and Development…
  • Survey Administration (the survey implementation or fielding period) …
  • Data Development, Quality Review, and Documentation – includes the development of restricted-use files containing all survey responses (available only to users approved by SSA for specific research projects); public-use files to be posted on SSA’s website for the general public (from which all Personally Identifiable Information is removed); and production of a data codebook, user’s manual, and data quality reports.

Although the contractor will be reusing the previously tested and approved NBS instrument, the contractor shall conduct a quality review, refinement, and possible development of additional survey questions. SSA anticipates each phase of the NBS survey will occur over a period of roughly three calendar years – with all or part of the first year focusing on quality review of the survey questions, the second year focusing on survey administration, and the third year on data development, quality review and documentation.

The NAS and the TS surveys, on the other hand, are new surveys that require more effort in early phases of the surveys’ construction.  SSA expects the contractor shall need a lead-time of 18 to 20 months focused on the design and development of the NAS and TS.  To aid in the development of the NAS and TS, the contractor must have a strong familiarity with the current disability research literature and the existing gaps in the literature that the survey data may fill…

Because the administration of the surveys are scheduled in a staggered fashion, the three DRS surveys will necessarily overlap, so that the first phase of survey will occur during the second phase of the prior survey…”

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