While temperatures this week are expected to range from the upper 50’s to the low 70’s, some people may already be thinking about the cost of upcoming winter heating bills.

There is a Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, also known as LIHEAP, to help families cover the costs of heating their homes. At this week’s Washington County Board of Supervisors meeting, General Assistance Director Sue Rich said she’s already had three people ask about it this week alone looking for assistance after having services disconnected.

Applications for households with elderly or disabled members can apply for assistance in October, and general applications can be accepted beginning November 1st through April. According to the Iowa Department of Human Rights, the applications are accepted on a first come/first served basis through local community action agencies. There are income guidelines, for example a family of four must be at or below the 175% of the federal poverty guideline which equates to a 30 day gross income of $3,588, or an annual gross income of $43,050. Washington County residents should submit applications to Hawkeye Area Community Action Program.