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Veteran Benefits for Alaska

The state of Alaska offers many veteran benefits for service members and Veterans that have served in the Armed Forces of the United States of America. These benefits include income and property tax exemptions, financial exemptions, education and training programs, hunting and fishing licenses, vehicle registrations, and assistance with employment. Your residency, military career, and disability status may result in certain differences in what benefits you may be eligible for. The following are benefits for the state of Alaska.

Alaska Veteran Financial Benefits

  • Alaska Income Taxes: The State of Alaska currently does not have an individual income tax, therefore no employee withholding for state income tax is required.
  • Alaska Retirement Income Taxes: 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 Retirement Income is not taxed.
  • Alaska Retired Military Pay Taxes: 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 Retired Military Pay is not taxed.
  • Alaska State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Military Disability Retired Pay: 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 Military Disability Retired Pay is not taxed.
  • Alaska State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation: 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 Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation is not taxed.
  • 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 the primary residence and permanent place of abode by a qualified disabled Veteran whose disability was incurred or aggravated in the line of duty and whose disability has been rated as 50 percent or more by the military service or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, is exempt from taxation on the first $150,000.00 of assessed valuation. The 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 7.85%.
  • Current average sales tax (with local taxes included): 1.28%

Recreation

Hunting and Fishing Licenses for Active Duty: Active duty members stationed in Alaska and their dependents can get hunting and fishing licenses at the residential rate. National Guard and Alaska military reserves’ hunting and fishing licenses are free of charge.

Disabled Veteran Hunting and Fishing License: Disabled Alaska Veteran residents with a disability rating of 50% or more can get a hunting and sports fishing license for free. Applicants must have lived in Alaska for 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the application and have been discharged honorably.

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 active duty, military retirees and dependents. ID showing proof of status must be shown at 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: Disabled Veterans can get one Alaska State Park Camping Pass for free. The camping pass is good for all Alaska State Park campgrounds and is valid for two years.

Education Programs

Alaska National Guard Tuition Assistance: Active members of the AK National Guard are eligible to receive 100% of the undergraduate rate of the University of Alaska; with a maximum yearly benefit of $4,500.00 per fiscal year (01 JUL through 30 JUN). You 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.

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 promulgation and 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

HousingThe 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

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.

Military Service Credit toward Alaska State Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS): Qualified individuals may be eligible to receive up to five years of PERS credit for active military service. Honorably discharged service members of the U.S Armed Forces that are vested in the PERS are eligible for this credit. Surviving spouses of service members may also be eligible. Members first hired under the PERS after June 30th, 1986 that retired from regular service and are eligible for a federal benefit for the same military service are not eligible. Retired National Guard and Reserve unit members may be eligible to claim active military service even though they are eligible for a federal benefit for the same military service. Military credit does not count towards retirement eligibility; however, it is used in the calculation of your monthly benefits.

Alaska National Guard & Naval Militia Retirement System (NGNMRS): NGNMRS is a retirement system that can pay you a small benefit upon separation from the Alaska Army Guard, Air Guard, or Naval Militia if you meet minimum eligibility provisions. You must have at least 20 years of combined Alaska guard service, guard service in any other state, active military service and the reserves of them, of which at least 5 years must have been satisfactory service in any branch of the Alaska Guard. Involuntary discharge from the Alaska Guard (for reasons other than misconduct) waives these eligibility requirements.

Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act: Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) protect civilian job rights and benefits for Veterans and members of Reserve components. USERRA also makes major improvements in protecting service member rights and benefits by clarifying the law, improving enforcement mechanisms, and adding Federal Government employees to those employees already eligible to receive the Department of Labor assistance in processing claims.

Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development Priority of Service: Veterans and their eligible Spouses shall be given priority over a non-Veteran for the receipt of employment, training, and placement services provided under that program. Depending on the service provided the Veteran or Spouse will receive access earlier or instead of an individual not entitled to the priority.

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, 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 December 2019

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.

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