ORS is a new survey designed to collect data about the requirements of work in the national economy conducted under an interagency agreement with the Social Security Administration (SSA). BLS will collect and publish data on the following information:
SSA uses five steps of Sequential Evaluation to determine whether disability applicants qualify for benefits. At steps 4 and 5 of this process, adjudicators need information about a representative sample of occupations in the national economy to determine whether people with functional limitations resulting from severe impairments can still perform work. Currently, SSA uses the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) at steps 4 and 5, and it has not been updated in more than 20 years. SSA is developing an Occupational Information System (OIS) to replace the DOT which will incorporate the data collected through ORS. This information is crucial to the equitable and efficient operation of SSA?s disability programs.
SSA became interested in BLS?s National Compensation Survey (NCS) because some of the information collected through this survey resembled the type of occupational information they need. In 2012, SSA and BLS entered into an interagency agreement to test the feasibility of using the platform of the NCS to collect occupational information for use in SSA?s disability programs. Feasibility testing showed that BLS could collect this data for SSA. BLS will use the National Compensation Survey (NCS) platform because it already captures information about occupations similar to the data needed for the Social Security Administration's (SSA) disability programs.
The ORS data will be used by SSA to adjudicate its disability claims. SSA disability adjudicators will use this information to determine if applicants for disability can do their past relevant work despite their impairments, and if necessary, determine the number of occupations and types of occupations that an applicant can perform despite their impairments.
BLS will begin collecting production data in September 2015. No release date for the data has been determined at this time.
BLS plans to collect data from a new sample of establishments annually to refresh a portion of the data.
BLS is collecting information for a limited number of occupations from sampled establishments based on each establishment?s total number of employees. Most private industry businesses will be asked to provide data for no more than eight occupations.
Yes. Small employers are an important part of the U.S. economy. We need to include establishments of all employment sizes in order for this study to be representative of ?work in the national economy? to meet SSA?s needs.
The survey includes questions to collect information about the following mental and cognitive job demands:
No. SSA needs information that describes how work is ?generally performed? in the national economy. Since employers accommodate employees on an individual basis, accommodations do not represent how work is ?generally performed.? To learn about how SSA uses work information in their disability determination process, see www.ssa.gov/disability/step4and5.htm#Q4_2=&a0=2
ORS production collection forms can be found at www.bls.gov/#ORSMaterials. The BLS field economist captures information throughout a conversational interview to collect data from respondents using the collection form.
Information about the ORS survey design is available in this paper presented at the Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology 2013 Research Conference. Survey methodology used in ORS testing is available in the ORS Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 3 summary reports.
BLS will continue initiatives including the evaluation of benchmarks for data collection and future testing of inter-rater reliability. BLS will also continue to refine collection procedures, the data review process, estimation, and validation techniques to ensure ORS produces quality occupational data in the areas of vocational preparation, mental and cognitive and physical requirements, and environmental conditions.
Call the NCS information office at 202-691-6199 or send e-mail via Request for Occupational Requirements Survey (ORS) Information.
You count! The quality of data produced by the BLS is a direct reflection of the quality of information and cooperation received from employers. Your participation will help the BLS deliver accurate survey results. The data will help SSA determine whether individuals meet the requirements for disability benefits. A letter (PDF) from the Social Security Administration's Acting Commissioner, Carolyn W. Colvin, further explains why your participation is important.
Yes! Your organization's participation and specific occupational information will be held in confidence to the fullest extent of the law. The BLS will use the information you provide for statistical purposes only in accordance with the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002.
The people we typically speak with can answer questions about the duties, qualifications, physical and cognitive demands, and environmental conditions of the establishment?s occupations. This person could be someone in human resources, a risk manager, or a supervisor.
A BLS economist will contact you to provide more information about the questions that will be asked and to determine your preferred method for providing data such as a personal visit, a phone call, or via email.
Job descriptions, if your company uses them, and current payroll information would allow for a more efficient and targeted interview.
Written job descriptions are helpful in understanding the duties and tasks of an occupation. However, we need to ask additional questions to obtain a complete assessment of the vocational preparation, physical and cognitive demands, and environmental conditions of each job.
The typical interview averages approximately one hour but may vary depending on the company size and the types of jobs discussed.
Last Modified Date: September 30, 2015