The state of Alaska provides several veteran benefits. This page offers a brief description of those benefits.
Alaska Veteran Housing Benefits
Alaska Veterans and Pioneers Home
The Alaska Veterans and Pioneers Home in Palmer strives to assist older Alaskans to have the highest quality of life by providing assisted living in a safe home setting that promotes independence, positive relationships, meaningful activities and physical, emotional and spiritual growth. Seventy-five percent of the 79 beds in the home are designated for veterans. Qualifying veterans are eligible for a per diem from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to help cover costs of their care.
Honorably separated veterans, 65 or older who require assisted living care are eligible for admission. Veteran must have resided in Alaska for one year or more prior to application.
Veterans Land Discount/Purchase Preference
Under the Veterans Land Sale Preference, before offering to the general public any unoccupied residential land by auction, a veteran has the exclusive opportunity to purchase the land at a restricted sale at fair appraised market value.
Also, the Veterans Land Discount program allows qualified veterans a 20% discount on the purchase price of state residential/recreational land. The discount may be used only once during the veteran’s lifetime.
Veterans Housing and Residential Loans
The Alaska Housing Finance Corp. (AHFC) administers the Veterans Mortgage Program, which offers financing for qualified veterans at low interest rates. Those on active duty may also qualify.
Loans require little or no down payment and usually have lower interest rates. Qualified veterans can receive a 1% interest rate reduction on the first $50,000 of the loan amount. There are income limits.
Alaska State Tax Benefits
Property Tax Exemptions
Veterans who have a VA or military disability of 50% or more are exempt from taxes on the first $150,000 of assessed value of their home. The exemption transfers to a spouse if the veteran passes away and the spouse is at least 60 years of age.
Alaska Veteran Employment Benefits
Military Credit for State Retirement
If you are an Alaska state employee you may be able to buy in up to five years of military time to increase your state retirement benefit.
State Employment Preference for Veterans & National Guard Members
A veteran or National Guard member may be entitled to a 5% point preference when applying for a state government job if they meet all other qualifications. A disabled veteran or former POW is entitled to a 10% point preference.
Job Finding Assistance
The Alaska Department of Labor offers priority service and benefits to veterans and eligible spouses or caregivers who are seeking employment, apprenticeship opportunities, and in some cases, paid on-the-job-training programs.
Waiver of Commercial Driving Skills Test
The Division of Motor Vehicles may waive the commercial motor vehicle driving test for certain drivers with recent military commercial motor vehicle experience.
Alaska Veteran Education Benefits
Free Tuition for Surviving Spouse or Dependent
The surviving spouse or dependent of a military member who died in the line of duty or who was listed by the U.S. Defense Department as a prisoner of war is entitled to a waiver of undergraduate tuition and fees at the University of Alaska, residency required.
Alaska Veteran Recreation Benefits
Alaska Railroad Discount
The Alaska Railroad offers a 20% discount to active-duty troops, military retirees and dependents. Identification showing proof of status must be shown at boarding.
Alaska Marine Highway System
A reduced-fare pass is available for travel on Alaska Marine Highway System vessels for veterans having a service-connected disability. The pass entitles the veteran and an attendant (if required by a physician) to travel at half price. Reduced fare does not include vehicle or stateroom. The pass is valid for travel between Alaskan ports, year-round.
Hunting and Fishing Licenses for Active Duty
Active-duty members stationed in Alaska and their dependents can get hunting and fishing licenses at the resident rate.
National Guard and reserve members can get free hunting and fishing licenses.
Disabled Veteran Hunting and Fishing License
Disabled veteran hunting and sport fishing licenses are available free to Alaska resident veterans with at least a 50% disability and an honorable discharge. Applicants must have lived in Alaska for 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the application.
State Camping Pass for Disabled Veterans
Disabled veterans can get one Alaska State Park Camping Pass for free. The camping pass is good in all developed Alaska State Park campgrounds for two years.
The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs shall pay, upon application, a death gratuity in the amount of $750 to the surviving spouse or personal representative of a qualified veteran who was a resident of the state at the time of death. The veteran must have received an honorable discharge and:
- Been an Alaska resident when they joined the service; or
- Was an Alaska resident for at least one year immediately preceding the time of death; or
- Served in the Alaska Territorial Guard, the Alaska Army National Guard, the Alaska Air National Guard, or the Alaska Naval Militia, or who served in a reserve unit of the United States armed forces in Alaska if the reserve unit required a minimum of one weekend of duty each month and 15 consecutive days of active-duty training each year for not less than three years.
Visit the Alaska state veterans affairs website to get more details about any of these programs.
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