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June 24, 2021

Top 7 Alaska Veteran Benefits

A Guide to the Best 2021 Benefits for Veterans in Alaska

In addition to the federal benefits available to all eligible U.S. military veterans regardless of location, each U.S. state offers additional benefits and exemptions for veterans and their families that are unique to that state. Alaska is no exception!

Alaska has more than 67,000 veterans representing four generations across five major conflicts. Generous Alaska veteran benefits (including Alaska disabled veteran benefits) are available to honor and support those who served.

alaska veteran benefits
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What are the top veteran benefits in Alaska?

Veteran benefits in Alaska specifically include property tax exemptions, education and training programs, recreational licenses and discounts, help with employment, home loans, emergency financial assistance, and long-term-care options.

A veteran’s (or service member’s) military branch, career status, and disability status as well as residence status can affect benefit eligibility.  

The Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs administers many of the veterans programs and benefits in Alaska. This is a great place to learn about your state and national benefits, or to get help with claims and applications. 

Read on for the ultimate guide to top service member and veteran benefits in Alaska for 2021! 


Alaska Veterans Get Property Tax Exemptions

Real property—owned and occupied as the primary and permanent residence by a qualified disabled veteran whose disability was incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, and whose disability has been rated at 50 percent or more—is exempt from taxation on the first $150,000 of assessed valuation. The exemption transfers to the spouse if the veteran passes away and the spouse is at least 60 years of age. 

For more information, contact your local tax assessor’s office by March 15 for the current year exemption.

alaska disabled veteran benefits

Are there educational veteran benefits in Alaska? Yes! In addition to the federal programs available to all U.S. veterans, Alaska offers many programs for veterans and service members (and their families) who seek tuition and education support. 

There are many military friendly colleges in Alaska. According to the VA, in 2017, 29 Alaska schools received Post 9/11 GI bill funds for over 3,667 students totaling over $6 million dollars. 

Alaska Resident Tuition for Nonresident Military Service Members and their Dependents

In-state tuition rates are available at any University of Alaska System school for active-duty military personnel or members of the National Guard, or their spouses or dependent children. United States veterans eligible for a VA education benefit or their spouse or dependent children are also eligible for resident tuition. Qualifying students must move to and remain domiciled in the State of Alaska during their course of study.

College Credit for Military Training

All universities and local community colleges in Alaska use the recommendations made by the American Council on Education to award academic credit toward a degree for education and training received in the military. To claim college credit for military training, request a transcript from your military service branch. Each service branch will provide official copies to schools at no charge.

State Tuition Assistance for the Alaska Air and Army National Guard

Alaska Air and National Guard members may receive up to 100 percent tuition assistance at any University of Alaska system school,  with a maximum yearly benefit of $4,500.00 per fiscal year. To be eligible, students must remain in the Alaska National Guard during the entire term of courses. The lifetime maximum State Tuition Reimbursement benefit is 208 quarter or 144 semester credits. All Alaska National Guard members are encouraged to contact the National Guard education office at (907) 428-6663 before registering.

Alaska Veterans’ Dependent Tuition Waiver Program

Spouses and dependents of armed service members who were Alaska residents and died in the line of duty, or are listed by the Department of Defense as prisoners of war or were killed in action, are entitled to a waiver of all undergraduate tuition and fees through the University of Alaska system. Contact your University of Alaska school before entering a program.

Statewide Apprenticeships for Alaska Veterans

If eligible, an apprentice may use veterans’ educational benefits while registered in an apprenticeship program. If an existing apprenticeship program does not have an approved veteran program in place, veterans can coordinate the establishment of a new training program by communicating with the employer and the State Approving Agency manager for Alaska at (907) 334-0874.

Yellow Ribbon Education Enhancement Program

The Yellow Ribbon Program helps veterans and dependents pay for higher out-of-state, private school, or graduate school tuition that the Post-9/11 GI Bill doesn’t cover.

For veterans who qualify, the school will contribute a certain amount toward your extra tuition and fees through a grant, scholarship, or similar program. The program then matches the contribution.

To be eligible, the student must qualify for the maximum benefit rate under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. At least one of these must be true. You:

  • Served at least 36 months on active duty (either all at once or with breaks in service), or
  • Received a Purple Heart on or after September 11, 2001, and were honorably discharged after any amount of service, or
  • Served for at least 30 continuous days (all at once, without a break) on or after September 11, 2001, and were discharged after 60 days with a service-connected disability, or
  • Are a dependent child using benefits transferred by a veteran or a service member who has served for at least 36 months on active duty and qualifies at the 100% level, You must qualify for the maximum benefit rate under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

To qualify, at least one of these must be true. You:

  • Served at least 36 months on active duty (either all at once or with breaks in service), or
  • Received a Purple Heart on or after September 11, 2001, and were honorably discharged after any amount of service, or
  • Served for at least 30 continuous days (all at once, without a break) on or after September 11, 2001, and were discharged after 60 days with a service-connected disability, or
  • Are a dependent child using benefits transferred by a Veteran or a service member who has served for at least 36 months on active duty and qualifies at the 100% level, or
  • Are a Fry Scholar (eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program on or after August 1, 2018)

 To receive this benefit, the chosen school must:

  • be an institution of higher learning, and
  • offer the Yellow Ribbon Program, and
  • not have offered the Yellow Ribbon benefit to more than a maximum number of students, 
  • certify your enrollment with the program  

More information is available here.

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Alaska’s Operation Recognition: High School Diplomas for World War II Veterans

The Alaska Legislature in 2001 passed AK 14.03.077, which allows World War II veterans or their family members to apply to the Department of Education and Early Development for a high school diploma. The law allows the department to award diplomas to WWII veterans, including Alaska Territorial Guard members, who served in the U.S. military during the period of August 7, 1940 to July 25, 1947. WWII veterans with a GED may apply. Family members may also apply for eligible deceased or incapacitated veterans.

To start the application, send an email to [email protected]. Include:

• Veteran’s full name (as you would like it to appear on the diploma)

• Dates of service (Induction date, discharge date)

• Mailing address

• Your name

• Telephone number

If discharge papers are not readily available, applicants may submit an Affidavit of Service (contact the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development). Fax or mail a copy of the discharge papers to:

Alaska Department of Education & Early Development
ATTN: WWII HS Diploma Program
P.O. Box 110500, Juneau, AK 99811-0500
Fax: 907-465-4156


What Alaska Veteran Benefits For Employment Are Available?

There are several veteran benefits in Alaska that support veterans and their families with employment. Resources are available to help veterans get the most out of their careers, whether seeking advancement at a current position or looking for the right fit for their first civilian job.

Veterans and disabled veterans receive preference when applying for federal, state, county, and local government jobs in Alaska.

Alaska Veterans’ Preference

Designed to help service members get back to work quickly after serving in the military, Alaskan law offers 10- and 5-point preferences to all who qualify. A veteran or national guard member may be eligible for 5 points added to any state employment examination score when applying for a state government job if they meet all other qualifications. A disabled veteran or former POW is eligible for 10-point preference.

Work Place Alaska automatically identifies 10-point veterans. If you are the selected applicant as a 10-point veteran, you are required to provide a copy of the DD214, DD215, or a letter from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for verification.

For specific eligibility and questions about these veteran services, please contact your nearest Alaska Job Center or phone (877) 724-2539.

Public Sector Alaska Veterans Preference

Under Alaska law, a public employer may provide a veteran’s preference to veterans seeking employment. This is voluntary, and many companies in Alaska offer this incentive.

Veteran Employment Tax Credit

A taxpayer who hires a veteran and employs the veteran in the state is entitled to a tax credit. Certain conditions apply, as outlined in the instructions from Form 6325 found at the Department of Revenue Tax Division. For more information, call (907) 465-3687 or reference Alaska Statute 43.20.048.

Alaska Disabled Veterans and Veterans Employment Representatives

Veterans can find employment information, education and training opportunities, job counseling, job search workshops, and resume preparation assistance at Alaska Job Centers. The offices have specialists who assist veterans and disabled veterans in finding employment.

Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Specialists (DVOPs) and Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVERs) help veterans apply for federal, state, local government, and private sector employment.

You are eligible for DVOP services if:

• You served on active duty for more than 180 days (not including training) and were discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable, or

• You were medically discharged, regardless of the amount of time you served on active duty, or

• You were a member of a National Guard or Reserve unit activated by presidential declaration, for which campaign badges/medals were issued or authorized for the full period of activation, and you were discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.

DVOPs and LVERs have offices to serve veterans in Alaska Job Centers. For specific eligibility and questions about these veteran services, please contact your nearest Alaska Job Center or phone (877) 724-2539.

Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development Veteran Services

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 soem cases) paid on-the-job training programs.

Veterans who served at least one day in the active military, naval, or air service, and who were discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable, are eligible for priority of service.

Examples of priority of service for veterans include:

• Advanced job opening notification

• Designated computers for veteran use

• Advanced use of available training funds

• Priority of service when using job center resource rooms, with Internet, copiers, fax machines, and phones

• Workshops to build effective resumes and bolster interviewing skills

• Personal career counseling from job center staff 

• Referrals to other partner agencies within federal and local programs

Veterans with significant barriers to employment, as well as eligible spouses and caregivers, are eligible for specialized intensive services to obtain or retain employment. This is a federally defined category. Services are offered and administered by state employee veterans at Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Matanuska-Susitna job centers. These state specialists provide services including:

• Comprehensive and specialized assessments of skill levels and service needs

• Development of an individual employment plan to identify employment goals

• Group counseling

• Individual counseling and career planning

• Short-term pre-vocational services may include development of learning skills, communication skills, interviewing skills, punctuality, personal maintenance skills, and professional conduct to prepare for unsubsidized employment or training

For specific eligibility and questions about these veteran services, please contact your nearest Alaska Job Center or phone (877) 724-2539.


Alaska Veterans Vehicle License Benefits  

You served with pride, and Alaska has a number of ways to publicly display your veteran’s status. 

Alaska Driver License/ID Veteran Designation

The Alaska Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offers a veteran designation that can be voluntarily placed on your Alaska driver license or identification card. To receive the designation, a veteran must provide proof of service and meet all other Alaska requirements for the driving privilege or ID card.

There is no additional fee for the veteran designation. The only price is the cost of a duplicate license if you request before renewal, or the renewal fee at the time of renewal. For more information, contact the DMV in your area.

Veteran Recognition License Plates

The Alaska DMV offers specialty license plates to veterans, disabled veterans, and qualifying family members. Plates that indicate the branch of service are available, with specialty plates including Gold Star families, POWs, and Purple Heart recipients. 

To obtain a veteran plate, proof of honorable service and supporting evidence for the plate you are seeking must be presented at the DMV during the application process.

For more details about all the plates offered by the DMV, visit the Alaska Department of Administration Division of Motor Vehicles.

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Alaska Veteran Benefits For State Parks and Recreation

It’s hard to imagine a better place to enjoy the great outdoors than Alaska! Veterans have access to unique opportunities for hunting, fishing, hiking, and other recreational activities at state and national parks and other public lands.

Hunting and Fishing Licenses for Alaska Veterans

Members of the military service or the U.S Coast Guard who are on active duty permanently stationed in Alaska, or a dependent of a military member serving on active duty permanently stationed in Alaska, may apply for a license and pay the resident rate. For more information, visit the Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Active members of the Alaska National Guard and Reserves who are stationed in Alaska and have met the residency requirements may receive a free hunting and sport fishing license. The license is only available through the State of Alaska Headquarters Licensing office. The application/affidavit must be signed by an authorized official. For a list of authorized officials, call (907) 428- 6031; for more information, call (907) 465-2376.

Resident hunting and sport fishing licenses are available at no charge to honorably discharged veterans with a 50 percent or more service-connected disability who are Alaska residents. Applicants may obtain an application online or by calling (907) 465-2376.

Alaska Marine Highway Pass

A one-year pass on the ferries of the Alaska Marine Highway is available for veterans with a service-connected disability. The pass entitles the disabled veteran and an attendant (if required by a physician) to travel at 50 percent of the regular fare (between Alaska ports only). To request a pass application, call 800-642-0066.

State Camping Pass for Alaskan Veterans

Disabled veterans can receive a free camping pass that is valid in all developed Alaska State Park campgrounds and good for two years. To receive the camping pass, a disabled veteran must present proof of a service-connected disability and Alaska residency at one of the Department of Natural Resources Public Information Centers. For more information, call (907) 269-8400 in Anchorage, (907) 451-2705 in Fairbanks, or (907) 465-3400 in Juneau.

State Railroad Discount for Alaskan Veterans

The Alaska Railroad offers a 20 percent discount to active-duty members, military retirees, and dependents. Reservations can be completed online at www.alaskarailroad.com or by calling (907) 265- 2494. Identification showing proof of status must be shown at boarding.


Housing Programs For Veterans In Alaska 

Whether you’re looking to purchase your first home or adapt an existing residence to fit your service-connected needs, Alaska and its partners want to help you achieve your dreams of home ownership and independent living. In addition to federal assistance available to all U.S. veterans, there are programs unique to Alaska.

Alaska Housing and Residential Loans

The Alaska Housing Financial Corporation (AHFC) administers the Veterans Mortgage Program, which offers financing for qualified veterans at a lower interest rate. To apply for a loan under this program, contact an AHFC-approved lender. The AHFC also offers a Veterans Interest Rate Preference, in which a veteran receives a one percent lower interest rate on the first $50,000 of a bank loan when purchasing a new home. Ask the bank handling the financing to implement this program for you. For details, call (907) 338-6100 or 1-800-478-2432 or visit the AHFC.

Alaskan Veteran Land Discount/Purchase Preference

The Veterans Land Discount program allows certain veterans a 20 percent discount on the purchase price of state residential/recreational land. The discount may be used only once during the veteran’s lifetime and may not be used in conjunction with the Veterans Land Sale Preference. 

The Veterans Land Sale Preference allows that before offering an unoccupied residential land by auction to the general public, a veteran has the exclusive opportunity to purchase the land at a restricted sale at fair appraised market value. Parcels offered under this preference must be five acres or less, classified as settlement land, and zoned for residential use only.

A fact sheet is available on benefits administered by the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mining, Land and Water Management. For more information call (907) 269-8400 or visit the Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Mining, Land, and Water.

Alaska Veterans and Pioneers Homes

Care at Alaska’s Veterans and Pioneers Home is an earned benefit available to honorably discharged veterans, providing elder Alaskans a home and a community that celebrates life.

In 2004, the Alaska legislature approved development of the state’s first veterans home. After extensive remodeling and upgrades to meet federal VA requirements, the facility was renamed the Alaska Veterans and Pioneers Home.

The home strives to help older Alaskans have the highest quality of life by providing assisted living in a safe home setting that promotes independence, positive relationships, and meaningful activities as well as physical, emotional, and spiritual growth. Qualifying veterans are eligible for a per diem from the federal VA to offset costs of their care.

The home may provide the following services, depending on health status and need:

• Private or semi-private rooms

• Opportunities for recreation

• Meals and housekeeping services

• Emergency assistance

• Physical activities

• Assistance with activities of daily living

• Nursing assessment and intermittent health services dependent upon level of care

• Payment assistance for those who qualify

• Pharmacy services

For more information on how to qualify for the federal VA benefits, call the home’s veteran’s liaison at (800) 355-3117 or (907) 745-4241.

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Veteran Health Care in Alaska

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs operates a robust and comprehensive health care system for veterans in Alaska. Included in this system are five VA health care facilities, four veteran centers, Alaska VA Native Heath Care Sharing Agreements, and numerous commercial contracted medical facilities across the state.

Additionally, the State of Alaska offers:

Alaska National Guard Medical Coverage and Benefits for Injury, Illness and Death While on State Active Duty

A member of the military who, while performing duties under state active service (AK 26.05.070), including transit to and from the member’s home of record, suffers an injury or disability in the line of duty is entitled to all compensation and benefits available under AK 23.30 (Alaska Workers’ Compensation Act).

If a service member dies as a result of an injury or disability suffered in the line of duty while performing duties under AK 26.05.070, including transit to and from the member’s home of record, death benefits are paid in the amounts specified in AK 23.30.215 .

Alaska Veteran Death Gratuity

The surviving spouse of a qualified veteran, upon application, will receive a death gratuity in the amount of $750 from the Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. If there is no surviving spouse, the gratuity will be paid to the personal representative of the veteran.

For eligibility, the veteran must have:

• been a resident of the state of Alaska at the time of death

• been buried in Alaska on or after May 13, 1984, or died on or after September 19, 1990

• received an honorable discharge or general discharge under honorable conditions

• been a resident of Alaska for at least one year prior to entry into the military service, and returned to the state as a resident within one year after retiring from military service with the intention of remaining; or was a resident for at least one year prior to death

• Served in the Alaska Territorial Guard, Alaska Army or Air National Guard, Alaska Naval Militia, or a Reserve unit of the U.S. Armed Forces in Alaska (if the Reserve unit required a minimum of one weekend of duty per month and 15 consecutive days of active duty training each year for at least three years).

VA Tribal Health Care Sharing Agreement

The tribal reimbursement program provides a means for tribal health facilities to receive reimbursement from the federal VA for direct care and services provided to American Indian and Alaska Native eligible veterans, as well as all veterans who live in and around tribal facilities in Alaska. If you have questions about this service, contact Patient Aligned Care Team call center at (907) 257-5460 ext. 5490.

Women Veterans Health Care

Specialized, gender-specific comprehensive health services are available to women veterans. Alaska’s VA Women Program manager can be contacted at (907) 257-4737, or toll-free (888) 353-7574 ext. 4737.

Alaska Federal VA Medical Centers

Anchorage

VA Outpatient Clinic

1201 North Muldoon Road, Anchorage, AK 99504-6104

Call (907) 257-4700, or toll-free (888) 353-7574

Fort Wainwright

Fairbanks VA Clinic

4076 Neeley Road, Room 1J-101, Fort Wainwright, AK 99703-1110

Call toll-free (888) 353-7574

Juneau

Juneau VA Outpatient Clinic   

709 West 9th Street, Federal Building, Suite 150, Juneau, AK 99801-1807

Call (907) 796-4300, or toll-free (888) 308-7890

Soldotna

Kenai Main Street Clinic

220 Main St. Loop, Unit B, Kenai, AK 99611

Call toll-free (888) 353-7574

Central Peninsula Hospital VA Clinic

240 Hospital Pl., #105, Soldotna, AK 99669
Call toll-free (888) 353-7574

Wasilla

Mat-Su VA Clinic

865 North Seward Meridian Parkway, Suite 105, Wasilla, AK 99654-7241

Call toll-free (888) 353-7574

Alaska VA Veterans Centers

Anchorage

Fairbanks

Soldotna

Wasilla


What about Income Tax for Veterans in Alaska?

The State of Alaska does not have an individual income tax; no employee withholding for state income tax is required.

FAQs

Are there special property tax exemptions for Alaska veterans?

Real property—owned and occupied as the primary and permanent residence by a qualified disabled veteran whose disability was incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, and whose disability has been rated at 50 percent or more—is exempt from taxation on the first $150,000 of assessed valuation. The exemption transfers to the spouse if the veteran passes away and the spouse is at least 60 years of age. 

Does Alaska award college credit for military training?

All universities and local community colleges in Alaska use the recommendations made by the American Council on Education to award academic credit toward a degree for education and training received in the military. Request a transcript from your military service branch; it will be provided to you free of charge.

Do veterans receive preferential treatment when seeking employment?  

Veterans and disabled veterans receive preference when applying for federal, state, county, and local government jobs in Alaska. Designed to help service members get back to work quickly after serving in the military, Alaskan law offers 10- and 5-point preferences to all who qualify.

Does Alaska offer employment counseling and assistance to veterans seeking employment? 

Yes, the Alaska Department of Labor offers priority service and benefits to veterans and eligible spouses or caregivers who are seeking employment and apprenticeship opportunities—and in some cases, paid on-the-job training programs.

Can veterans purchase real estate in Alaska at reduced rates and prices?

Definitely! The Alaska Housing Financial Corporation (AHFC) administers the Veterans Mortgage program, which offers financing for qualified veterans at a lower interest rate. What’s more, the Veterans Land Discount program allows certain veterans a 20 percent discount on the purchase price of state residential/recreational land.

Are there special deals on hunting and fishing licenses for Alaska veterans?

Resident hunting and sport fishing licenses are available at no charge to honorably discharged veterans with a 50 percent or more service-connected disability who are Alaska residents. Applicants may obtain an application online or by calling (907) 465-2376.


MAKE SURE YOU GET ALL THE BENEFITS YOU DESERVE

Regardless of what state you live in, it’s important that veterans pursue the monthly compensation payments due them for disabilities connected to their military service.  

Most veterans are underrated for their disabilities and therefore not getting the compensation they deserve. At VA Claims Insider, we help veterans understand and take control of the claims process, so they can get the rating and compensation they’re owed by law.

Our process takes the guesswork out of filing a VA disability claim and supports you every step of the way in building a fully-developed claim (FDC) – so you can increase your rating in less time! If you’ve filed your VA disability claim and have been denied or have received a low rating – or you’re not sure how to get started – reach out to us! You served … you deserve.


About the Author

About VA Claims Insider

VA Claims insider is an education-based coaching/consulting company. We’re here for disabled veterans exploring eligibility for increased VA disability benefits and who wish to learn more about that process. We also connect veterans with independent medical professionals in our referral network for medical examinations, disability evaluations, and credible Independent Medical Opinions & Nexus Statements (Medical Nexus Letters) for a wide range of disability conditions.

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