Winters in the Quad Cities can be long, hard, and brutal. The last thing you should have to worry about is paying for a huge heating bill that you can't afford. Luckily, Quad Citians have a place they can turn to- LIHEAP.

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program helps customers pay their utility bills with a grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services. Eligibility for the program is based on income, fuel type, and family size. The program helped 36,000 households in 2016, and the average benefit was $440.

According to KWQC, the program is now accepting applications for MidAmerican assistance in Iowa for the elderly and disabled. Other applicants can begin applying November 1. The total household income for an Iowa family must be at or below 175% of the federal poverty guidelines. You can find income guidelines and info about signing up here.

The same program is utilized in the Illinois Quad Cities through Project NOW, but has different guidelines for eligibility. The application time for IL started October 1 for disabled residents, those over the age of 60, and households where the furnace is not operating. November 1, residents who have had their heat disconnected and those with children under the age of 6 can sign up. December 1, the program is opened to everyone who is eligible. You can find information for the IL side here.