Veteran Benefits in Alaska
The state of Alaska has more veterans per capita than any other state, and one in three either military or a dependent. With a large community of veteran hunters and fishermen, plenty of peaceful, open spaces and natural beauty, comfort with firearms, and a pervasive spirit of independence and self-reliance, Alaska is a great fit for many veterans.
The Alaska Office of Veterans Affairs serves as a primary advocate for Alaska's veterans, helping veterans in ways ranging from filing claims for education, medical or other benefits, to assisting them in obtaining earned military awards. All services are provided free of charge, and trained Veterans Service Officers are located throughout the state to help you find the benefits you are entitled to and assist you in claiming them. Their office is located at 4600 Debarr Road #180 in Anchorage and they are open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The state of Alaska maintains several programs that make purchasing residential property more affordable, such as the Veterans Land Discount program that offers a 25% discount for veterans 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. The Veterans Land Sale Preference states that, before offering to the general public any unoccupied residential parcel of land (5 acres or less) by auction, a veteran has the exclusive opportunity purchase the land at a restricted sale at fair appraised market value. Additionally, the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) administers a Veterans Mortgage Program that offers financing for qualified veterans at lower interest rates, often with little or no down payment.
Veterans with service-related disabilities are also entitled to additional discounts and benefits in Alaska, such as a free hunting and fishing license, free camping pass, reduced fare passes for travel on Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) vessels, and a point preference in scoring during government job applications. All veterans can receive a 20% discount on Alaska Railroad, as well as a smaller point preference in government job applications.
The Alaska VA Healthcare System offers a variety of health care services at both its main facility in Anchorage, and its outpatient clinics in Fairbanks, Kenai, Mat-Su, and Juneau. Veterans can access primary, specialty, and mental health outpatient care, as well as a comprehensive homeless veterans assistance program that includes a 50-bed domiciliary residential rehabilitation treatment program and a 24-bed compensated work therapy transitional residence program. Services are provided through a Joint Venture with nearby Elmendorf Air Force Base, as well as through purchased care arrangements with the community hospitals.
For older veterans, there are two special benefits that represent the state’s appreciation and gratitude. For veterans 80 years and older, a special birthday greeting message can be requested from the state Governor. Veterans or family and friends should contact the Governor’s Office at least four weeks prior to the event and supply the name, address and proof of age of the veteran. Additionally, WWII veterans who shipped out to without ever receiving their high school diplomas can receive a diploma through Operation Recognition. In Alaska, the Department of Education and Early Development may award diplomas to WWII veterans living in Alaska. A family member may apply on behalf of the veteran by submitting a copy of discharge papers or an affidavit of service by fax or mail with the application. You can learn more by calling the Department of Education at (907) 465-2800.
The Alaska Veterans of Foreign Wars is an excellent way to build a support network and enjoy socialization with other veterans who enjoy living in Alaska. Alaska currently has 21 posts with almost 7,500 members who get together on a regular basis to socialize, attend learning sessions, and join forces to support legislation important to veterans. VFW posts also typically have a service member trained to help veterans with their VA claims, whether it’s submitting them, reviewing them, or resubmitting them. This can be very helpful in ensuring you and your family receive all the benefits your service has earned you.
To find out what veterans benefits exist in other states in the U.S. please visit our complete Veterans Benefits by State guide here.
Alaska Veterans Benefit for Assisted Living
The Aid and Attendance pension benefit is available to Alaska senior veterans and their spouses to help pay for senior care like assisted living, home care, or nursing home care. Here is more information on how the Aid and Attendance benefit helps Alaska veterans.
Written by Megan Hammons