Co-Worker Plays Music and Managers Haven’t Helped!

I have a co-worker who has been in our office six months. I have been there ten years. She plays her music right next to my cubicle and I’ve told her many times I can’t concentrate with her music on. But she doesn’t care. I’ve gone to my managers and all they say is well we can hear you when you talk or laugh way back here. Nothing is done about the radio or the disrespect this girl shows towards me. I’m at a loss. Is there a law about this anywhere? I am a federal employee so I’m not sure if the laws are different.

read more

Music in a Manufacturing Plant is TOO LOUD!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about loud music in a manufacturing area:

I did a quick search and didn’t see an answer to what I was looking for. I work in a manufacturing environment in Connecticut. Several times I have mentioned to my immediate supervisor and HR that I find people playing music loudly is a distraction to me. I have yet to receive a satisfactory response from my supervisor or HR. At a job where music is not a requirement to perform your job, do I have a right to voice my concerns about loud music and am I entitled to help from my employer? 

read more

What Does OSHA Say About Earbuds?

What does OSHA say about the use of ear buds in a manufacturing environment?

We have several questions and responses in our archives about using ear buds and/or ear protection, in work environments. Some of them have many links to articles. You may find it useful to go to categories and check out Music and Noise in the Workplace.

If you are asking about reducing harm from noise in the work environment, your best resource is the OSHA website. They don’t have rules about whether or not ear protection is worn, but they have advice about protecting hearing.

If you are asking about wearing earbuds to allow workers to listen to music at work, OSHA doesn’t have any regulations prohibiting or requiring regular earbuds. As a matter of safety, it’s important for all workers to be able to hear the sounds around them to a sufficient degree that they can hear warnings, equipment starting and stopping, alarms, and necessary communications from coworkers and bosses.

Other than that, it is up to management to decide if employees can listen to radio, music or books on tape, through the use of earbuds and audio devices.

We hear from many managers who say that employees who have earbuds and other headsets, tend to never hear a request or question the first time and coworkers often have to walk right up to them and get their attention, before they realize someone is trying to talk to them. We hear from employees who say they feel isolated when those around them are listening to something else and not interacting with them at all. And, of course, we hear from employees who want to be able to listen to music or other audio, to relieve the monotony of their work.

One thing is for sure, once management allows headsets of any kind to be worn, it’s almost impossible to reverse the decision without causing a lot of upset.

So, whether your question is about safety devices or entertainment devices, managers and employees need to communicate about it well in advance and make sure the right decisions are being made. (Or, if management doesn’t want to have employees wearing earbuds, they are probably better off just saying no and moving on, without the invariable arguments.)

If you have the time and wish to do so, let us know how this situation was handled in your workplace, in case we can use the information to assist others.

Best wishes to you!

Tina Rowe
Ask the Workplace Doctors

  read more

What Can I Do About A Factory Coworker Who Plays Loud Rock Music All Day?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about loud music in a factory. 

I am working in a factory together with other people in same area and one of them plays rock music on his sound system at maximum volume nearly all day. I am the one that works with him and we are the closest ones to sound system all day (1-2 meters). Neither me or anyone else have a problem with music being played, as long as it is on a decent volume.

I have to mention that we work in a factory near an oven that makes noise, but as soon as he starts playing music, I cannot hear that oven (being in the middle between the radio and oven) Is there any law that I can find on a official website so I can print it and “hit my manager over the face” with it so he takes action about this ?

It may be that you are outside the United States, so perhaps there are workplace health and safety regulations (rather than law violations) that apply. Even when there are health and safety requirements about noise, workplace noise complaints are usually more easily handled by supervisors and managers. The matter is discussed in this article Business Management.   The article doesn’t provide helpful advice, but it reinforces the fact that managers are responsible for reducing conflict at work–and music is a prime source of conflict.

Since you say you want to “hit your manager over the face” with information about a law, I assume you have talked to him about it and he hasn’t done anything, so you are doubly frustrated. Consider some of the following thoughts:

*Do you have an employee union or council that could support you, if you presented a request to them?
*Have you put your complaint in writing to your supervisor or just talked about it to him?
*Have other employees complained also? Would they be willing to write their complaints?
*Have you told your coworker that the loud music is too loud for you to be able to concentrate on work and you would like for him to turn down the volume?
*Have you tried wearing noise reducing ear protection? For example, instead of only blocking out noise, could you play a “white noise” or “pink noise” sound, to add an element of calm to your day?

If you write a complaint to your supervisor or to anyone else, there are some things you will need to include. I’ll mention them here, so you can think about how you want to communicate your concerns.

*Put the focus on how the music has a negative effect on your work and on your emotional and physical well-being. Think about this and be able to put the negative effect in writing as well as verbally.

Do your ears ring after work?
Are you unable to hear announcements or needed work conversations?
Does the music combined with the oven sound create a double negative impact on your hearing?
Has your ability to work with that coworker decreased because of the hostile feelings this situation has caused?
If you have talked to the coworker about it, has his response been courteous or does he act as though he doesn’t care about the results of his actions?

*Consider this: If the music was lower, would the oven noise be just as much of an irritant? Someone may ask you about it, so have a response to that question. I would think the oven noise is more of a constant mechanical roar or whirring sound, while music, although sometimes softer, is much more distracting, especially when it is loud and if there are vocals with it. It’s impossible to shut out all the lyrics.

*Was there ever a time when the only noise was the oven? If so, when the coworker first started playing his music, was the volume at the current loud level right away or has it increased since then?

*Do other people have sound systems and do they play loud music too?

*Big question: How much do you think the employee would have to lower the volume, for it to be tolerable? Does it need to be half its current volume? Suggest an amount, as a way to say that you are not asking that the music be turned off, just turned down.

When you write to your supervisor, ask for action, rather than only bringing the matter to his attention again. For example, “I have complained about this before, but nothing has been done. Now the problem is so severe than I am putting it in writing to emphasize that I want action taken to make work more tolerable for me and others who have to work around loud music.”

You manager is not obligated to take action, but strongly asking for it might at least make him investigate the situation more closely and talk to several people about it. The action might be to have you wear noise reducing ear protection or just to have the employee lower the volume somewhat. Let your supervisor know if the remedy doesn’t stop the problem. You can do that while still being cooperative and courteous.

I wish there was a magic answer for you, so you would not have to deal with this irritating and potentially harmful situation. But perhaps you can get some relief by insisting on it and enlisting the aid of others.

Best wishes to you. If you have the time and wish to do so, please let us know what happens. It might be very useful for us to share with others.

Tina Rowe
Ask the Workplace Doctors read more

Too Much Music in my Workplace

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about loud music:

Are there regulations regarding music in warehouses with forklift operators driving around. I got blindsided hit by a forklift driver in a warehouse that had a speaker system playing music 10 feet from me. I never heard the forklift driver due to the music. Blindsided  read more

What Can I Do About a Coworker Who Incessantly Grinds His Teeth and Taps His Foot?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a coworker who has distracting habits. 

I’ve been working with this individual for a few years now and I’m beyond my breaking point. He grinds his teeth and taps his feet all day, every day. This is particularly worse on Mondays, or following any time he takes off (vacation, sick..). When I presented these issues to the Manager, I was told there was no other spot for me, and to just wear earbuds with music to drown out his grinding, tapping and all other of his disgusting bodily noises. Two years later, this is still the only solution we have. Which makes me wonder two things: what is the long-term damage to my hearing, if I’m constantly having to raise the volume of my music to drown out his teeth grinding (which also impacts my concentration when we reach those music volume levels), and why should I have to modify my behavior?

This isn’t only affecting me, but I am one of the few who is only in a cubicle with this annoying coworker, while others have office doors they can close for peace, quiet and concentration. (Note: this annoying coworker can’t be placed in an office as there have been other issues in the past which prevents this practice with him.) Any other possible solutions?

I can well imagine this is a frustrating and perpetually irritating situation for you. It would be enough to cause me to quit that job and find something else—even though I realize that isn’t always possible.

I would also guess it is a sad situation for your coworker. No one enjoys grinding their teeth and tapping their feet all day. And, he probably feels badly, knowing he is viewed as a distraction by other people. (He may not act as though he cares, but most people would.)

It may be a chronic neurological or psychological condition over which he has no control. If your coworker does his job effectively otherwise, your employer may have been advised by HR or an attorney, that there is nothing they can do, except find him a work area that is as isolated as possible—and you are the one who shares that work area. That advice may be incorrect, according to the degree of effect his behavior has on the workplace, but it may be why they are tolerating it.

However, no matter how sorry I feel for someone who has a condition he can’t control, I don’t think it is fair for others to suffer even more. Your manager is responsible for the workplace and should find a solution, other than telling you to drown out the noise. Also, since there have been other issues in the past, it seems to me that it’s time for your manager to deal with the problem, not make other employees deal with it.

I agree with you that it isn’t reasonable for you to have to listen to music directly in your ears all day. I think there is a distinct possibility it could have an effect on your hearing, but you would need to consult an audiologist or other specialist to know that for sure. It may be worth your time and expense to go to a specialist of that type and get a medical opinion about it.

You don’t mention your relationship with the employee or whether you have ever discussed this issue with him or directly asked him to stop. After this length of time, I can understand that it probably wouldn’t make a difference, but you may at least find out more about it. And, if he can explain his condition to you, he may find it helps him to feel less stressful and thus be able to improve it somewhat.

Also, many people with repetitive behaviors are able to find medical solutions, but side effects, such as drowsiness, dry mouth, etc., makes them not want to continue taking the medications. They also may not like to take time off for therapy. But, if they have good relationships with coworkers and are aware they are distracting them extremely, they are more likely to continue the medication or therapy.

If you have already talked to him or if you don’t have a good relationship with him, even apart from this situation, you will need to work on it on your own. Here are some suggestions, which may or may not work, according to your situation.

1. Instead of music in your ears, try a loud white noise machine in your space. I prefer Marpac or Lectrofan, because they don’t have a sound “loop”, which is just as distracting to me as anything else, just “whooooosh”. However, once you plug it in, it will be obvious to your coworker what you are doing. I think you should be honest about it. “Mike, I’m going to start using this white noise machine because I’m distracted all day with your teeth grinding and foot tapping, but I’m also tired of having music blaring in my ears, so I hope this will help.” That may be what you need to start a conversation about it.

It may take you a day or two to get used to the white noise sound, but once you do you won’t notice it at all, unless it’s turned off.

2. Consider a noise-cancelling headset or earbuds, rather than playing music. Those are usually very comfortable and put you in your own isolated zone. Bose as well as other brands can be effective. I often wear mine just to concentrate better, even if there is no noticeable outside noise. I don’t think it is optimal for you to have to wear anything to make work tolerable, but if you continue to work there and can’t get relief any other way, it may be all you can do.

3. Look at the available space in your office and see if there is any configuration that would allow you to be further away from your coworker or at least out of line-of-sight. It won’t help to just move a bit, you need to be far enough away that you no longer see him tapping his foot, even peripherally. Could your desk be turned around or could something be added between your cubicle and that of the coworker?

In a former office, we dismantled a cubicle and made it back to back instead of side to side. Maybe that would be possible here.

Is there some other space in the office where you could work, even if it is not as large as your current work space? It would be worth it to be squeezed in, if it would allow you to concentrate.

4. You have asked for some relief in the past, but I think you should do so again, in writing, to your supervisor with a copy to HR, or the reverse, according to company requirements. Explain the effect this has on your work and all the things you have done to try to make it better. Be adamant that something has to change. Let them know that it is simply not acceptable for you to have music directly in your ears all day. If you might quit, if things don’t improve, you could make that an “or else” part of the letter. (Your employer will then have to decide which of you has the most value.)

None of those suggestions are certain to help, but they seem to be the best options, if your coworker continues to work there and so do you.

If you are able to find a solution to this very challenging problem, I hope you will let us know. It would be something really worthwhile for us to be able to share with others.

Best wishes to you!

Tina Rowe
Ask the Workplace Doctors read more

Ear Buds Where & When

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about protection of hearing:

I know it is against regulations to wear ear buds on MHE equipment. I had a question asked today on where are they OK to wear. I told them not on MHE equipment or in high traffic areas. I told them if they were working where no traffic came then it was OK to wear. Now, I am asked to do a safety meeting at work. Is there any information about the “wheres” ear buds can be worn at work?
Signed, Where & When
Dear Where & When:
We’ve had many questions regarding noise in the workplace. That is a special area of expertise that OSHA consultants provide; it’s not ours, but we try as apparently you will in your upcoming safety meeting. Below several of our Q&As are referenced.

If you search the web, you will find helpful answers—hinging mostly on the decibel level. For example: OSHA Rules on Earphones by Trudy Brunot, studio discusses various aspects of hearing protection.
Sound Advice
OSHA’s 85-decibel noise criteria equates to the sound a lawnmower makes. If you use earphones, keeping the volume below that level and giving your ears a break every couple of hours can reduce the potential for damage to the fine hairs in your inner ear that enable you to hear. Listening to music while sitting in an office cubicle may help some workers concentrate on their tasks, but it also may isolate them from conversation and interaction with colleagues that could hamper their performance, notes a post on the Harvard Business Review Blog Network.

3M Peltor E-A-R Buds site explain: E-A-R Buds protect your hearing from environmental noise and they make sure your hearing is not compromised by playing music too loudly. E-A-R Buds limit the maximum volume to 82 dB which is safely below the maximum exposure limit established by OSHA for an 8 hour period. That means everyone can finally get what they want: the workers can have their music with hearing protection built right into the headphones, and the safety officer can breathe easy, knowing the workers’ hearing is safe from both external and internal noises.

Here are Q& As you might find if help for your safety instructions:
No Longer Radios Where We Work June 24, 2016
Earpods Or Protective Gear September 18, 2009…/osha-regulations..
Federal (OSHA) Rules About Radios At Work?
October 13, 2014

Please send us other information you include in your instruction. What you say can protect and encourage a cooperative attitude for your workplace. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS.
–William Gorden read more

No Longer Radios Where We Work

A question submitted to Ask the Workplace Doctors about radios being prohibited:
I work for a company the makes hydraulic cylinders. The business has been around since the 70’s and radios have always been allowed. The shop has been part of the USW since the 80’s and now they have implemented a hearing conservation program and have posted that all radios have to be removed and are prohibited from further use. There has been no bargaining with the union on this matter. What can we do?
Signed Radios Off

Dear Turned Off:
Your unhappiness about radios being prohibited is understandable since you have had them in your workplace for a long time. The recent decision to prohibit them without even union consultation seems to you and to me as unnecessarily aggravating. You ask: What can we do?

In seeking to turn the radios on once again, remember that there are two over-arching concerns that are even more important: one, being able to communicate effectively despite the noise from production and other noise from radios and two, protection of individual’s hearing. Some types of work require protective gear for the ears.

You have several courses of action:
1. Learn from your Human Resources and/or Legal Department on what regulations is this ruling is based.
2. Request your union representative to investigate the basis of this decision and what their state and/or national offices have to say about it being made without ample discussion with the union.
3. Seek examples from other similar work situations about how the use/misuse of radios is handled. Learn if there are alternative ways to have the use of radios—ways that respect the new concern for hearing conservation ruling.
4. Enlist support for review of this ruling. Management doesn’t want a lot for unhappy employees. Are there others displeased as are you? Numbers matter.

Over the years we have had received many questions about radios within the workplace. No one answer applies to all situations, but you might find some of our advice relevant to your situation. You can read them by looking under the category Music/Noise At Work in our Archive. I have listed two Q&As for you to look at:

Is It Illegal to Play Music in the Warehouse? January 27, 2016 Bill Gorden Music/Noise At Work

Are There OSHA Rules About Radios?
January 8, 2009 Tina Lewis Rowe Music/Noise At Work

Are There OSHA Rules About Radios?

Fighting those who make rules that you don’t like usually is not an effective way to build a good working relationship. You will need to decide if this rule is worth the effort it will take. Of course you know you are paid to work and are not paid to listen to the radio. But your argument is that you can do both. So don’t give up without learning if you can do both by taking a cheerful approach to finding if both is possible as they were for years. Remember the big picture of having a successful company and good working relationships. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS.
William Gorden
Dr Gorden,
Sorry for the slow response. I was traveling on business and let the email slip thru the cracks.
If still of value my response would be.

OSHA requires a hearing conservation program when noise level testing in a facility exceeds 85 DB over a time weighted average of 8 hours. I would guess that the noise in a shop making these cylinders might approach that level in itself. Adding additional sound would likely push it into a danger zone. Ideally OSHA would require that they engineer the sound away, but if not possible then hearing protection would be required.
I don’t believe that a required compliance with a federal safety standard would necessitate a bargained agreement with the union. The laws are the laws, no company can ignore to comply simply because the employees choose not to.

Hope that has some value, and of course I would love to be of assistance in the future,
Bob Byers,Customized Training & Development LLC, OSHA

read more

Is It Illegal to Play Music in the Warehouse?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about laws regarding listening to music while working:

Me and like 98% of my co-workers have no problem with music being played as long as it’s quiet enough to hear everything else around for obvious safety reasons. Our lead hand, who sort of abuses authority, tells us all the time “no music in the warehouse it’s against the law. So we’re forced to turn them off. I’m in Vancouver Canada B.C. and I’m just wondering if it really is against the law or is he just saying this?
Signed Forced Turned Off

Dear Forced Turned Off:
You are smart to ask “is he just saying this?” because what bosses sometimes say is more convenience than fact. It is good to enjoy music when it doesn’t distract from hearing what is required to do a job and if the noise level doesn’t harm workers’ hearing. Yet the fact is that our hearing is at risk when a noise level is high due to the equipment or in the immediate environment of some jobs such as of those working next to airplanes.

To learn what is legal/illegal will entail some effort of you and possibly your coworkers. You have begun that by sending this question. That was good, but as our site states, we don’t give legal advice. However, we do provide guidelines that relate to communication, such as giving and taking instructions and prevention of hearing loss. In your situation, apparently your lead hand, whom you think is too authoritative, is right to not want music to interfere with the communication on the job and safety. Possibly he’s been told that Canadian law or your company policy forbids music on the job.

First, you need to learn what is the law. Your company’s Human Resources or Legal Department and/or union should have access to that. You will then know if the law flatly forbids any music in your warehouse. Possibly the law only refers to where certain high levels of music would affect safety and hearing loss. If this is the case, you will need to analyze what level of music would put make safety at risk or distract from understanding a boss or coworkers’ communication.

Second, if the law permits a flexible policy, you and your coworkers might form a music committee to prepare a proposal for what should be permitted for individual workers or for general broadcast, such as that of a radio station.

It would be wise not to see this matter as a battle between you coworkers and your lead hand. The odds of achieving a policy to your liking are higher if you seek one that will make working condition both productive and pleasant for your warehouse.

My associate workplace doctor, Tina Lewis Rowe, recommends you search access the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety . And she points out that “They have an inexpensive pamphlet (a few dollars I think) about warehouse safety requirements and a section on noise. I think the focus will be on excessive noise, not noise that might distract from work.”

Also in what follows, I have provide several sources that you will find of relevant:
–>Music Laws – Learn About Music Entertainment Law –‎ Regulation of noise – Environmental Law and Litigation Mar 15, 2009 … While not a “pollutant” in the traditional sense of a “chemical” or … construction work), mobile sources (mainly transport-related, …. types of noise (e.g., operating loud machinery/tools, shouting, loud music, … Vancouver by-law.
–>Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
You may be interested in these related products and services from CCOHS:
Noise Control in Industry: A Basic Guide Format: Print | PDF
Language: English | French
Single book: $15* CAD
Courses: Preventing Hearing Loss From Workplace Noise
Publications: Warehouse Workers Safety Guide
–> The best music for productivity – Business Insider Jul 24, 2015 … Politics · Military & Defense · Law & Order …. The best music to listen to for optimal productivity, according to science … Oftentimes we have innumerable distractions at work competing for our attention. …. the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, found that …
–>“The best music to listen to for optimal productivity, according to science”
Rachel Gillett Jul. 24, 2015. You will find this source is rich in support of listening to music in the workplace. It is so interesting to me and possibly will be for you that I am copying:
Oftentimes we have innumerable distractions at work competing for our attention.
Luckily, music can help put us back on a more productive track.
Studies out of the University of Birmingham, England, show that music is effective in raising efficiency in repetitive work — so if you’re mindlessly checking email or filling out a spreadsheet, adding some tunes will make your task go by that much faster.
But when it comes to tasks that require more brainpower, finding that perfect playlist is not so easy.
Luckily, we have science at our disposal to help.
Based on some of what we know about how music affects productivity, you should try funneling this kind of music through your headphones the next time you’re feeling unproductive:
Songs that include sounds of nature.
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute recently discovered that adding a natural element could boost moods and focus.
Sounds of nature can mask intelligible speech just as well as white noise while also enhancing cognitive functioning, optimizing the ability to concentrate, and increasing overall worker satisfaction, the researchers found. The mountain stream sound researchers used in their study also possessed enough randomness that it didn’t distract test subjects.
You could try simply listening to recordings of nature sounds, or check out this tranquil background music that incorporates sounds of water:
Songs you enjoy.
Listening to music you like can make you feel better.
Teresa Lesiuk, an assistant professor in the music therapy program at the University of Miami, found that personal choice in music is important, especially in those who are moderately skilled at their jobs. Generally participants in her studies who listened to music they enjoyed completed their tasks more quickly and came up with better ideas than those who didn’t because the music improved their mood.
“When you’re stressed, you might make a decision more hastily; you have a very narrow focus of attention,” she told the New York Times. “When you’re in a positive mood, you’re able to take in more options.”
Songs you don’t really care about.
Different research suggests, however, that music you’re ambivalent about could be best.
Researchers from Fu Jen Catholic University in Xinzhuang City, Taiwan, studied how listener’s fondness for music affected their concentration. They found when workers strongly liked or disliked the music they heard in the background they became more distracted by it.
Songs without lyrics.
Words are distracting.
According to research from Cambridge Sound Management, noise in general isn’t to blame when it comes to lost productivity — it’s how intelligible the words are that forces us to shift focus from our work to figuring out what someone is saying. Speech distracts about 48% of office workers according to Cambridge’s 2008 study.
When masking your neighbor’s conversation with music, it follows then that you not do so with music that has lyrics — your focus would simply shift from the conversation to the words in a song.
This playlist of lyric-less music may provide the productivity boost you need:
Songs with a specific tempo.
Music tempo can have varying affects on your arousal.
One study by Canadian researchers found subjects performed better on IQ tests while listening to up-tempo music. If your work requires you to be more upbeat, you could try listening to music that matches this tempo. Baroque music, for example, is a popular choice for many needing to get work done.
In fact in a small study by researchers at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, Harbor Hospital in Baltimore, and the University of Pennsylvania Health System in Philadelphia, the radiologists they studied reported an improvement in their work and mood when they listened to baroque music. This playlist offers a nice sampling:
Another study by researchers from BMS College of Engineering in Bangalore, Malaysia, saw subjects report a dramatic reduction in feelings of stress and an increased sense of physical relaxation when they listened to music that played around 60 beats per minute. In classical music terms, you would refer this as “larghetto,” which translates to not very fast or somewhat slowly.
If you prefer to feel more relaxed while you work, you could try one of Focus @ Will’s playlists dedicated to concentration:
Songs played at medium volume.
Noise level matters.
Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, found that moderate noise levels are just right for creative thinking.
While both high and moderate noise levels have been found to open people’s minds to more abstract thinking, high noise levels decrease the brain’s ability to process information. –The End of her essay.–

Finally, let me add that achieving what you want is to shape working conditions that are the good for all concerned—those closest to the job and those charged with making your workplace safe and productive. No matter what results from you researching this matter, you can still have a song in your heart and sing to yourself. That a matter of attitude. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS, and that is what you want. Please let us know what you learn and what is decided in light of your efforts.

William Gorden
read more

Federal (OSHA) Rules About Radios At Work?

A question about radios being used in the workplace.



Are there OSHA rules about using radios at work?

Response from Ask the Workplace Doctors: 

Check our archives under Music and Noise at Work, to see some of the many questions and responses in the past, about this issue.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is part of the Department of Labor and regulates many aspects of workplace safety. Each state also has a department of labor and related occupational safety groups. They would be your best source for information about your specific situation.

read more