Alaska State Veteran's Benefits

The state of Alaska provides several veteran benefits. This section offers a brief description of each of the following benefits.

Alaska Veteran Real Estate Benefits

Veterans Land Discount/Purchase Preference
The Veterans Land Discount program allows certain veterans to a 25 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 preference.

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

Property Tax Exemptions
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. Contact your local municipal tax assessor?s office by March 15 for exemption for current year.

Veterans Housing and Residential Loans
The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) administers the Veterans Mortgage Program which offers financing for qualified veterans at lower interest rates.  Active duty service in the Armed Forces, Public Health Service, NOAA or service as a cadet at the US Military, Air Force, Coast Guard or Naval Academy may qualify.  Loans are generally processed rapidly, require little or no down payment, and often include lower interest.

AHFC also offers a Veterans Interest Rate Preference, in which a veteran receives a one percent lower interest rate on the first $30,000 of a bank loan when purchasing a new home, ask the bank handling the financing to implement this program for you.  AHFC grants a preference to veterans for the rent or sale of a portion of its low cost housing projects units.

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Alaska Veteran Employment Programs

Employment Preference Rights
Workplace Alaska in the Division of Personnel in the Department of Administration is the on-line recruitment process for all the states classified service positions. Every vacancy in the classified service, except those requiring registration with Job Service, are posted on the homepage and are available for on-line application. Vacancies are advertised in the Sunday editions of the Fairbanks News Miner, Juneau Empire, and Anchorage Daily News along with recruitment phone lines.

Veterans who possess the necessary qualifications for a given state job classification and served on active duty and received an honorable or general discharge during the dates listed on the employment application, are eligible for a state employment hiring preference.

Veterans Employment Services
The Veterans Services Section of the Employment Security Division of the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development promotes employment, economic stability, and growth by operating a no-fee labor exchange that meets the needs of employers, job seekers, and veterans. The service provides job placement, job matching and referral, vocational counseling, and job search assistance.

Affirmative Action Plan
The State of Alaska 1998 Affirmative Action Plan affords all present and prospective state employees in the executive branch an equal opportunity for employment regardless of their veteran?s status - among many other factors.

The state will ensure there are no impermissible or artificial barriers for veterans or disabled veterans to cross in applying for state jobs, provide on-the-job training and assistance in locating qualified disabled applicants, recruit and employ qualified persons with disabilities and Vietnam era vets for state jobs, and sets up an informal complaint procedure. The plan is administered by the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity in the Division of Personnel.

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Alaska Education Benefits

Free Tuition for Spouse or Dependent of Armed Services Member
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 the students must be in good standing in a state supported educational institution in Alaska.

High School Diplomas
Operation Recognition, a nation-wide effort, recognizes that many World War II veterans went off to war and never returned to high school to get a diploma.

In Alaska, the Department of Education and Early Development may award diplomas to World War II vets living in Alaska, including Alaska Territorial Guard members, who served during the period of August 7, 1940 to July 5, 1947 and were honorably discharged or died in active service or were released from active duty because of a service-related disability. A family member may apply on behalf of a veteran who is deceased or incapacitated. Even ex-GIs with a Graduation Equivalency Diploma could apply.

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Other Alaska State Veteran Benefits

Recording Veterans Report of Separation Form
A veteran may record, without fee, the original or a certified copy of his or her Armed Forces Report of Separation (DD-214 Form) at any State Recorder's office of the Department of Natural Resources.

The Recorder's office maintains 14 District offices throughout the state, overseeing 34 recording districts that record, index, and archive all of the documents that create the Official Public Record of the state of Alaska.

Disabled Veterans Parking Permits
Disabled Parking Permits are also obtained from the DMV, available to persons at least 50 percent disabled or medically handicapped, including persons disabled in the line of duty while serving in the Alaska Territorial Guard. Applicants must show reception of at least 50 percent disability compensation from a government agency or an affidavit signed by a physician licensed to practice in Alaska.

Veterans License Plates
Veterans License Plates, with the word 'veteran' and the symbol of each branch of service, are available from the Division of Motor Vehicles upon submission of written proof of veterans status. Fee is $30 biennially.  Purple Heart recipients and Alaska National Guard members may also purchase special plates for $30.  Pearl Harbor Survivors and former POWs recipients may receive a special plate at no charge.  A Disabled Veteran can register one vehicle without charge and receive a specially designed registration plate that displays recognition of the disabled veteran. With proof, persons disabled in the line of duty, who are 50 percent disabled or medically handicapped as a consequence of service are eligible. The plate does not display the standard handicap symbol and does not carry with it special parking privileges; however the standard wheelchair logo may be available depending upon the level of disability as described below.

Hunting and Fishing Licenses
Resident hunting and sport fishing licenses are available at no charge to honorably discharged veterans with a 50 percent or greater service-connected disability and Alaska residency. Applicants must have lived in Alaska for 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the application.

State Camping Pass
The legislature granted Disabled Alaskan Veterans (DAV) the right to receive one Alaska State Park Camping Pass free of charge. The DAV Camping Pass, which is valid in all developed Alaska State Park campgrounds, is good for two years.
To receive a free DAV camping pass, an eligible disabled veteran must present proof of a service connected disability and Alaska residency at either the Anchorage or Fairbanks DNR Public Information Centers (see below). Proof of residency can be in the form of an Alaskan Driver's License, Alaska Sport Fishing License, Alaska Voters Registration Card, or other documentation suitable to the department that proves Alaska residency.

Alaska Marine Highway Pass
A one-year pass on the ferries of the Alaska Marine Highway is available for veterans having a service-related disability. This pass entitles the disabled passenger and an attendant (if required by a physician) to travel at 50% of the regular passenger fare, between Alaska ports only, on all vessels, year-round.

Birthday Cards from the Governor
Birthday greetings from the Governor are available to veterans 80 years and older. Veterans or family or friends of veterans should contact the governor's office at least four weeks in advance and supply the name and address of the person to receive the card and appropriate proof of age.

Governor's Advocacy Award
Individuals who demonstrate an extraordinary personal concern, compassion, and commitment to veterans causes, veterans, and their families are eligible for the annual Governor's Veterans Advocacy Award. A winner could also have formed a new, innovative or creative volunteer program or project that benefits vets. Accomplishments must have been performed on a volunteer basis. Governor's Veterans Advocacy Award will be presented on Veterans Day, November 11th. 

Military and Veterans Memorial Landmark Property
The Military and Veterans Landmark Property Program formally recognize memorials around the state built to honor the military and veterans of the armed forces. Information about the memorials is important to understanding the sacrifices made by veterans in Alaska and America, the role of the military, and the history of our nation's wars.

Information about memorials will be preserved by the State of Alaska as an important part of its history. A record of each approved Landmark Property will be maintained by the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, including a list of properties to be kept, to facilitate visitation to memorials for those interested in doing so. The state will provide an attractive, numbered certificate, suitable for framing, at no cost.

Wartime Letters - The Legacy Project
The Legacy Project is a unique and meaningful way to honor all veterans by preserving letters written by soldiers on the front and letters written to them from home.

A national, volunteer non-profit agency, known as The Legacy Project, began collecting letters from any American wartime period to preserves these treasured documents and therefore heighten appreciation of them.

Letters can be ones personally written or received, or written by a relative. These may include eyewitness accounts of battles or acts of heroism, encounters with famous military leaders, love letters, or any other irreplaceable messages or little-known stories that will offer historians and future generations a better understanding of those who served and sacrificed for country.

Military Credit Towards State Retirement
Certain members of the various state retirement programs may be eligible for additional credit for up to five years military service. Military service will increase your retirement service and monthly benefits.  Although military service is not membership service, in certain cases it may count toward vesting and retirement eligibility. Visit site below, click on the retirement system of interest, scroll to Military Credit.  

In the National Guard and Naval Militia Retirement System, anyone with 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, may receive a small benefit upon separation from the Alaska army guard, air guard, or naval militia if you meet minimum eligibility provisions.

Visit the Alaska State VA website to get more details and learn how to apply for veteran benefits.

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