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Alaska Veterans Benefits & Disabled Veterans Benefits

Alaska Veterans Benefits

Veterans Benefits in Alaska

In addition to federal programs such as the GI Bill, there are state-level veterans’ benefits programs to help you with your education. You can also learn about veterans’ benefits in other states.

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Alaska National Guard Tuition Assistance

Army.mil lists an option for 100% tuition assistance for qualifying National Guard members who want to attend a University of Alaska system school. Resident tuition is 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, their spouses, or dependent children may be eligible for in-state/resident tuition rates at Alaska public colleges regardless of state residence. Qualifying students must move to and remain in Alaska during their studies.

RELATED: National Guard Tuition Assistance

Housing Benefits for Veterans in Alaska

AHFC Mortgage Program

The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) offers a Veterans Mortgage Program which provides mortgage financing for qualified veterans.

AHFC options include a Veterans Interest Rate Preference where a veteran can receive a 1% lower interest rate (on the first $50,000) of a mortgage loan, but applicants must not be currently on active duty and income restrictions may apply; this is a need-based mortgage loan program.

Land Discount/Purchase Preference

The Veterans Land Discount program offers qualifying veterans a 25% discount on the purchase price of state residential or recreational land. It’s an option that may be used only once during the veteran’s lifetime.

Using this benefit, qualifying veterans may purchase such land before the general public may compete for it. These parcels are typically five acres or less, classified as settlement land, and zoned for residential use only.

Property Tax Exemptions for Disabled Veterans

Qualifying disabled veterans may apply for a property tax exemption for the first $150,000 of the assessed value of a primary residence. This applies if the veteran has a service-connected medical issue that results in 50% or higher disability.

Health Care Benefits for Veterans in Alaska

For veteran healthcare in Alaska, there are multiple options starting with the Anchorage VA Outpatient Clinic. There are also VA Community Based Outpatient Services in:

  • Fairbanks
  • Kenai
  • Mat-Su
  • Juneau

You can also find Alaska Veterans Centers in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Wasilla, and Kenai.

Employment Benefits for Veterans in Alaska

Veterans Employment Services

The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development has 21 job centers across Alaska. The job centers in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Wasilla are all said to feature on-site veteran representatives, but even in centers without such help, you will find “priority services” offered to veterans and eligible spouses.

The services at the job centers include priority job referral, career counseling, career assessment as well as the following options:

  • Employment assessment
  • Job development
  • Job search workshops
  • Referral to educational services,
  • Resume help

Veteran Employment Tax Credit

The State of Alaska offers a tax credit for companies hiring veterans who work in the state. The veteran must be unemployed for more than four weeks and meet other criteria as applicable:

Disabled Veterans: Must not have been released or discharged more than 10 years before the date employment begins.

Non-disabled Veterans: Not been released or discharged more than two years before the date employment begins.

The amount of the tax credit depends on the status of the veteran as well as if they are working for the company as a seasonal employee or not.

Additional Consideration for State Retirement

Some veterans may qualify to purchase up to five years of additional military service credit. You must have 20 years of service in the Alaska National Guard (or in the National Guard of any other state), active military service, or reserve military service combined and at least five years of that must be in the Alaska National Guard.

If you have an involuntary discharge for reasons other than misconduct, these eligibility requirements may be waived.

State Employment Preference For Veterans

Alaska offers eligible Veterans and National Guard Service members preference “when hiring for public employment” according to the State of Alaska. All applicants must meet the minimum qualifications for the position to qualify for the preference.

When hiring is done on a points-based system, qualifying service members may be eligible for up to 5% of the total points available; disabled Veterans and former prisoners of war may qualify for points up to 10% of the total points available added to their score.

When a numerical system is not used, applicants are offered “consideration” and a disabled Veteran or prisoner of war “will be given an opportunity to interview” according to the official site.

Who is eligible for this hiring preference? Those who served on active duty for 181 days or more and received an honorable discharge during the following periods which include but are not limited to:

  • Between April 6, 1917, through December 1, 1919
  • Between September 16, 1940, through December 31, 1947
  • Between June 27, 1950, through October 14, 1976
  • Between August 2, 1990, through January 2, 1992, Beginning September 11, 2001, and ending on a date to be determined.
  • Served 181 days or more in the Alaska Territorial Guard.

There is eligibility criteria for disabled veterans, which include having served on active duty with an honorable discharge AND the veteran:

  • Was discharged due to a service-connected disability
  • Is entitled to disability compensation from the VA
  • Was disabled in the line of duty while serving in the Alaska Territorial Guard.

Members of the Alaska National Guard may also qualify. You must be either currently serving or have an honorable discharge.

Those competing for Alaska state government jobs may qualify for 5 or 10 veterans preference points.

State of Alaska Death Veteran Death Benefit

Army.mil reports the State of Alaska offers a “death gratuity” to the surviving spouse or estate of a veteran buried on or after May 13, 1984. The gratuity requires an Honorable discharge or a discharge Under Honorable Conditions for those who served in the Guard, Reserve, or on active duty.

Residency requirements apply; the servicemember must have been an Alaska resident for at least a year before service and must have returned to Alaska within a year of leaving the military. The veteran must also have been a resident of the state for a year before death.

For more information regarding Alaska veterans’ benefits, please visit the Alaska State Office of Veteran Affairs website

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About the author

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Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.