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Are you planning to use one or more of the restricted data products distributed by the Health and Retirement Study? Begin by inspecting the What's Available and Order Form pages to see the list of available restricted data products. Documentation for many of these is available from the HRS Public File Download Area (registration required). You may wish to examine the documentation to see if the restricted data product in question will meet your research needs.

Next, review the following step-by-step flowchart (or text narrative) which outlines procedures for preparing and submitting the Restricted Data Application that must be approved in order for you to obtain these files. For details on merge restrictions, please review the HRS File Merge Cross-Reference Table.

In preparing your data protection plan, refer to Developing a Data Protection Plan and the Data Protection Plan Checklist (last update, February 2013). If you are planning to use restricted data in a networked environment (not recommended) be sure to read The Restricted Data Environment: Issues Relating to Network-Connected Clients.

Special procedures must be followed to obtain Medicare data for HRS respondents. See the HRS Medicare Claims and Summary Data page for information on how to apply for (and pay for) these data. Users with content questions may wish to review the HRS-Medicare Data Dictionaries, which contain variable definitions and frequencies for the Standard, Provider and Geographic Releases.

Flowchart describing the Restricted Data application process.
Eligibility           Application Procedures Available Files Research Proposal Data Protection Plan Order Form Human Subjects Review RDA Agreements RDA Modification RDA Renewal Yearly Recertification Audits Termination