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Veteran Benefits for Alaska

Veteran Benefits for Alaska

Alaska offers benefits for Service members, Veterans, and their families including, Permanent Fund Dividends, military credit toward state retirement, property tax exemptions, state employment preferences, education and tuition assistance, Veteran land purchase discounts, vehicle tags, and hunting and fishing license privileges. Eligibility for some benefits may depend on residency, military component, and Veteran disability status. The following are benefits for the state of Alaska.

Alaska Veteran Financial Benefits

  • Alaska Income Taxes: The State of Alaska does not levy general state income tax on individuals.  As such, you are not required to file an individual state tax return.   Distributions received from the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) are not taxed. Additionally, there is no tax on retirement income, retired military pay, military disability retired pay from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation.
  • Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP) Alaska State Tax Benefits: Alaska does not levy a general state income tax on individuals, so you are not required to file an individual state tax return for Alaska, therefore survivor benefit plans are not taxed.
  • Alaska Property Tax Exemptions for Disabled Veterans: Real property owned and occupied as a primary residence by a Veteran who has a 50% or more service-connected disability rating from the VA is exempt from property taxes on the first $150,000 of assessed value. This exemption transfers to a Spouse if the Veteran passes away and the Spouse is at least 60 years of age.

Sales Tax:

  • Statewide: None
  • Municipalities: can levy a sales tax of no more than 7.50%.
  • Current average sales tax (with local taxes included): 1.76%


Hunting and Fishing Licenses for Active Duty:  Nonresident active duty Service members stationed in Alaska can purchase fishing and hunting license for discounted prices.  Service members serving on active duty and their dependents who are stationed in Alaska for less than 12 months can purchase a special military license at the same price as resident rates.  Service members and dependents must be accompanied by an Alaskan Licensed Guide or a relative within the second degree of kindred when hunting brown/grizzly bear or Dall sheep.  Nonresident Service members and their dependents who have been stationed in Alaska for more than 12 months can purchase standard resident licenses and are not required to have a guide.

Alaska National Guard and U.S. Armed Forces Reserves Hunting and Fishing Licenses:  Alaska offers free annual hunting and fishing licenses for resident Service members who are actively serving in the Alaska National Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces Reserves.

Disabled Veteran Hunting and Fishing License:  Alaska offers resident disabled Veterans who have a 50% or greater disability rating from the VA or their branch of service free hunting and fishing licenses. Veterans must be physically present in Alaska to apply. If at any time a Disabled Veteran license holder is no longer a resident of Alaska, their licenses are immediately void.

Waiver of Commercial Driving Skills Test: The DMV may waive the commercial motor vehicle driving test for certain drivers with recent military commercial motor vehicle experience.

Alaska Railroad Discount: The Alaska Railroad offers a 20% discount to Veterans, retired Service members, active duty Service members and their dependents. Patrons must show an official ID showing proof of eligibility when boarding.

Alaska Marine Highway System: Veterans with a service-connected disability rating are eligible for a reduced fare pass for travel on Alaska Marine Highway System. This pass reduces the fee by 50% and does not include vehicle or stateroom. This pass is valid year-round and between Alaskan ports.

State Camping Pass for Disabled Veterans:  Alaska offers one free Alaska State Park Camping Passes to disabled Veterans. The 2023-2027 DAV pass is valid in all developed Alaska State Park campgrounds.

Education Programs

Alaska National Guard Tuition Assistance:The Alaska National Guard will pay up to 100% of tuition and required fees at an educational, vocational, or technical training school for eligible Service members serving in the Alaska National Guard. Alaska National Guard Service members may combine both federal and state tuition assistance for up to 100% of tuition and authorized fees at a school in the University of Alaska System.

Service members are authorized no more than one credential from each of the following levels:

  • Certificate or license
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor’s degree

Free Tuition for Spouses or Dependents at Alaska State Supported Educational Institutions:Waiver of undergraduate tuition and fees at a state-supported educational institution physically located within Alaska. The Spouse or dependent of an armed services member who died in the line of duty or who died as a result of injuries sustained while in the line of duty or who was listed by the Department of Defense as a Prisoner of War or as Missing in Action is entitled to a waiver of undergraduate tuition and fees from the Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. The students must be in good standing in a state-supported educational institution in Alaska.

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.

Alaska Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children: It is the purpose of this compact to remove barriers to educational success imposed on children of military families because of frequent moves and deployment of their parents by:

  • Facilitating the timely enrollment of children of military families and ensuring that they are not placed at a disadvantage due to difficulty in the transfer of educational records from the previous school district or variations in entrance or age requirements
  • Facilitating the student placement process through which children of military families are not disadvantaged by variations in attendance requirements, scheduling, sequencing, grading, course content, or assessment. Facilitating the qualification and eligibility for enrollment, educational programs, and participation in extracurricular academic, athletic, and social activities
  • Facilitating the on-time graduation of children of military families
  • Providing for the enforcement of administrative rules implementing the provisions of this compact
  • Providing for the uniform collection and sharing of information between and among member states, schools and military families under this compact
  • Promoting coordination between this compact and other compacts affecting military children
  • Promoting flexibility and cooperation between the educational system, parents and the student in order to achieve educational success for the student


Alaska National Guard and Naval Militia Retirement System (NGNMRS):  NGNMRS is a retirement system that pays eligible Service members $100 per month for each month of satisfactory Alaska National Guard service.  A lump sum payment option or accelerated payments to be completed by age 72 may be chosen in place of the base $100 per month.  If the Service member dies on active duty and has at least five years of satisfactory Alaska National Guard service, their full accrued benefit (months of service x $100) is payable in one lump sum to their beneficiary or beneficiaries. If the retired Service member dies prior to the payment of their full accrued benefit, the remainder will be paid in a lump sum to their beneficiary or beneficiaries.

Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD): The Alaska PFD is a monetary fund that pays dividends annually to legal Alaska residents. The amount of the 2022 dividend is $3,284 per person

Alaska Veteran’s Land Discount: The Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) offers Alaska resident Veterans a once-in-a-lifetime discount on the purchase of state land. The discount is 25% of the purchase price but does not apply to certain costs the DNR may have incurred to develop the land for sale.

Housing: The following are the sites for Veterans Homes

Alaska State Veterans Home at Palmer

Eligibility for admission:

  • Veterans must have an honorable discharge
  • Veterans must be 65 years or older
  • Veterans must require assisted living care
  • Veterans must reside in Alaska for 1 year or more prior to application
  • Spouses may be eligible for services
  • Costs are based on a per-diem status

Employment and Job Training: Veteran’s Preference

Alaska State Employment Hiring Preference for Veterans, Service Members and Former Prisoners of War:  Alaska offers eligible Veterans and National Guard Service members a preference when hiring for public employment. All applicants must meet the minimum qualifications for the position to receive preference.  If a numerical rating system is used for hiring, Veterans and National Guard Service members will receive 5% of the total points available added to their score. Disabled Veterans and former prisoners of war will receive 10% of the total points available added to their score.  If numerical ratings are not used, a Veteran or National Guard Service member will be given consideration and a disabled Veteran or prisoner of war will be given an opportunity to interview.

Military Service Credit toward Alaska State Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS):  Former Service members may be eligible to purchase up to five years of PERS credit for active military service. Military credit does not count towards retirement eligibility, it is used to calculate the amount of monthly benefits after retirement.  PERS members will be charged 8.5% of their annualized vesting year salary for each year of military service credit claimed.

Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act:  USERRA protects civilian job rights and benefits for Veterans and members of reserve components. USERRA also protects Service member rights and benefits by clarifying the law, improving enforcement mechanisms, and adding Federal Government employees to those employees already eligible to receive Department of Labor assistance in processing claims.

Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development Priority of Service:  The Alaska Department of Labor offers priority of service and employment assistance to Veterans, and eligible Spouses, who are looking for employment, apprenticeships and on-the-job training programs.  Veterans who have significant barriers to employment, as well as eligible Spouses and caregivers can receive specialized intensive services through the Disabled Veterans Outreach Program.

Alaska State Employee Leave for Military Duty: State employees who are members of a reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible for 16.5 days of paid military leave per year for training, field exercises or when under direct military control during a search and rescue mission. During military leave employees will not lose pay, time, or efficiency rating.

Restoration of Reserve Component Service Members to Former Positions in Alaska State Employment:  Alaska State employees who are Service members in a reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces and are ordered to state or federal active duty must be restored to their former state position at the end of their active duty service.

Alaska Hilton Honors Military Program: The Alaska Hilton Honors Military Program helps make the career transition from service in the U.S. Armed Forces to civilian employment easier for current and former Service members. The Hilton Honors Military Program will provide hotel accommodations for required travel while they are looking for a new job, training for a new job, or finding housing. Those eligible can receive up to a total of 100,000 hotel points for verifiable employment-related activities.

Burials and Memorials

Please note that your preference regarding burial in a national cemetery and use of a headstone provided by VA should be documented and kept with your paperwork and medical records. Eligibility for interment in the State Veterans Cemetery follows National Cemetery Administration eligibility requirements.

National Cemeteries include:
Fort Richardson: Fort Richardson National Cemetery
Sitka: Sitka National Cemetery

Alaska VA Benefit Resources

Alaska provides Veterans with a Regional Benefits Office and a VA Medical Center.

Alaska VA Regional Benefits Office

Alaska VA Medical Centers

Important information for Alaska Veteran Benefits:
For Veterans applying for VA benefits for the first time, you must submit a copy of your DD 214 (discharge paperwork). This will provide your discharge status, along with your full name, social security number, branch of service, and dates for which you served. Honorable and general discharges qualify a Veteran for most VA benefits.
You should always keep your paperwork, along with your medical records, in a safe place where you and your family can have access to them. It is imperative to have it in a location where it cannot be destroyed or tampered with, which includes a safe.
Your eligibility for most VA benefits is based upon discharge from active military service under other than dishonorable conditions. Active service means full-time service as a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard, or as a commissioned officer of the Public Health Service, the Environmental Services Administration, or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Any Veteran discharged from the military under the conditions of “Dishonorable” due to bad conduct discharges issued by general courts-martial may bar VA benefits. Veterans in prison and parolees may be eligible for certain VA benefits. VA regional offices can clarify the eligibility of prisoners, parolees, and individuals with multiple discharges issued under differing conditions.

*This information is accurate as of October 2023

Alaska Veteran Benefits

If you are a disabled Veteran in Alaska and are VA rated 90% or less, you may be eligible for additional benefits. Contact Veterans Guardian for a free consultation with no obligation. Let us review your claim to determine whether you qualify for additional benefits.