DES MOINES, Iowa (KCAU) — Do you think you might need assistance keeping your lights or heat on this winter? Starting November 1, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will return for families that need it.

All electric and natural gas utilities in Iowa will be participating in LIHEAP. LIHEAP is a program where qualified individuals can receive energy assistance funds to help pay energy bills. It also protects them from disconnection in the winter months, according to a release from the Iowa Utilities Board.

According to the release, customers who are facing hardships and struggling to pay for their energy services can work with their local community action agencies to apply for the LIHEAP program.

Households that are verified by a community action agency as viable for the program are protected from disconnection of electric and gas services starting November 1 until April 1, the release said.

If a customer informs their servicer that they are applying for LIHEAP, they can be afforded a 30-day stay of disconnection that allows time for the application to be processed.

Community action agencies can be found in every county in the state of Iowa. If you need help finding your local community action agency, you can find that information here.

Applications for those who have disabilities or are above the age of 60 opened on October 1.