The following are the Alaska veterans’ benefits programs for education, employment, healthcare and housing for 2018.
Education Benefits for Alaska Veterans
In addition to federal programs such as the GI Bill, there are veterans’ benefits programs provided by the states to help you with your education.
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 DOD as a POW is entitled to a waiver of undergraduate tuition and fees at the University of Alaska.
RELATED: Scholarships for Gold Star Families
Alaska National Guard
National Guard members may receive up to 100% tuition assistance at 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.
Qualifying students must move to and remain domiciled in the State of Alaska during their course of study.
AHFC Mortgage Program
The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) administers the Veterans Mortgage Program. This offers financing for qualified veterans at lower interest rates. If you served in the armed forces, public health service, NOAA, or are in the service as a cadet in the Air Force, Coast Guard, or Naval Academy, you may qualify. The loans you can get are usually processed rapidly, require little or no down payment, and often include a lower interest rate.
Interest Rate Preference
AHFC also offers a Veterans Interest Rate Preference where a veteran can receive a 1% lower interest rate on the first $50,000 of a bank loan when purchasing a new home. You would need to ask the bank that is handling the financing to implement this program for you. AHFC will grant a preference to veterans for the rent or sale of a portion of it’s low cost housing units.
Land Discount/Purchase Preference
The Veterans Land Discount program allows certain veterans a 25% discount on the purchase price of state residential/recreational land. This can only be used once during the veterans lifetime and can’t be used in conjunction with veterans preference.
Under the Veterans Land Sale Preference, veterans will be able to have the exclusive opportunity to purchase land at a restricted sale at fair appraised market value, before the general public has a chance to buy it. These parcels need to be under five acres, classified as settlement land, and zoned for residential use only.
Property Tax Exemptions for Disabled Veterans
Disabled veterans may receive a property tax exemption up to the first $150,000 of the assessed value of his or her primary residence if the veteran is 50% or more disabled as a result of service. This will transfer to a surviving spouse if the veteran is deceased from a service connect cause.
For veterans healthcare in Alaska, there is the Anchorage VA Outpatient Clinic. There are VA Community Based Outpatient Services in Fairbanks, Kenai, Mat-Su and Juneau. You can also find Alaska Veterans Centers in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Wasilla, and Kenai.
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 all have on-site veteran representatives. All of the job centers provide priority services to qualified veterans and their eligible spouses.
The services at the job centers include: Priority job referral, career counseling, career assessment, employment assessment, job development, job search workshops, special programs, testing, referral to educational services, resume assistance, education assessment, and labor market information.
Veteran Employment Tax Credit
There is a tax credit for those who hire veterans. The credit would be for each veteran that is hired and works for the company in the state of Alaska.
The veteran would need to be unemployed for more than four weeks immediately preceding the date employment begins and must have been discharged or released from military service according to whether they are disabled or not.
Disabled Veterans: Not 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 depends on the status of the veteran as well as if they are working for the company as a seasonal employee or not.
For veterans that have been employed in the state for more than 1560 hours during the 12 consecutive months immediately following the date the veteran is first employed, the employer can claim a tax credit of $3,000 for a disabled veteran, and $2,000 for a non-disabled veteran.
For veterans that have been employed for 500 hours or more in a seasonal position during the three consecutive months immediately following the date the veteran was first employed, the employer can claim a tax credit of $1,000. They will only be able to take this tax credit for the first season that the veteran works for them.
Military Retirement for State Retirement
Qualified veterans may be eligible for up to five years of additional military service credit. This will increase your retirement service and monthly benefits. Surviving spouses of service members may also be eligible.
If separating from the Alaska National Guard or Naval Militia, you may receive a small benefit payment. You would need to have 20 years of service in the Alaska National Guard, National Guard of any other state, active military service, or reserve military service combined and at least five years of that must be satisfactory service in the Alaska National Guard. If you have an involuntary discharge for reasons other than misconduct, these eligibility requirements will be waived.
State Employment Preference For Veterans
When applying for Alaska State Jobs, veterans preference points may be applied to veterans with an honorable discharge. 10% will be added to your passing score if you have a service connected disability, 5% if you do not.
For more information regarding Alaska veterans benefits, please visit – Alaska State Office of Veteran Affairs website
Related state military and veteran information: