Rating Based State Benefits
PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTIONS
Veterans who have a VA or military disability of 50% or more are exempt from taxes on the first $150,000 of assessed value of their home. The exemption transfers to a spouse if the veteran passes away and the spouse is at least 60 years of age.
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.
DISABLED VETERAN HUNTING AND FISHING LICENSE
Disabled veteran hunting and sport fishing licenses are available free to Alaska resident veterans with at least a 50% disability and an honorable discharge. Applicants must have lived in Alaska for 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the application.
ALASKA PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION
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 at 50% or more by their military service or the federal VA, is exempt from taxation on the first $150,000 of assessed valuation. The exemption transfers to the spouse if the veteran passes away and the spouse is at least 60 years of age. For more information, contact your local tax assessor’s office by March 15 for the current year exemption.
ALASKA PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION
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 at 50% percent or more by their military service or the federal VA, is exempt from taxation on the first $150,000 of assessed valuation. The exemption transfers to the spouse if the veteran passes away and the spouse is at least 60 years of age
STATE CAMPING PASS
Disabled veterans can receive a free camping pass, which is valid in all developed Alaska State Park campgrounds and is good for two years. To receive the camping pass, a disabled veteran must present proof of a service-connected disability and Alaska residency at one of the Department of Natural Resources Public Information Centers.
All State Benefits
DISABILITY COMPENSATIONDisability compensation is a monetary benefit paid to veterans who are disabled by an injury or illness that was incurred or aggravated during active military service. These disabilities are service connected. Disability compensation is paid monthly and varies with the degree of disability, the impairment of a veteran’s earning capacity, and number of dependents. Veterans with certain severe disabilities may be eligible for additional special monthly compensation. The benefits are not subject to federal or state income tax.
PENSION BENEFITA non-service-connected VA pension is a benefit paid to wartime veterans who have limited or no income, and who are age 65 or older, or under 65 and are permanently and totally disabled, or a patient in a nursing home, or are receiving Social Security disability payments. The amount payable depends upon the type and amount of income the veteran and family members receive from other sources.
AID & ATTENDANCE (A&A)Aid and attendance are benefits paid in addition to monthly pension and compensation. It may not be paid without eligibility for a pension. A&A is allowed if the veteran or another person requires that aid to perform his or her daily living activities, is bedridden, or is a nursing home patient because of mental or physical incapacity Contact Info.
HOUSEBOUND BENEFITSVeterans and survivors who qualify for federal VA compensation or pension, and are confined to the home because of permanent disability, may be eligible for additional housebound benefits. Qualifying veterans must have a single permanent disability (rated 100 percent disabled) and need assistance; or have a single permanent disability (100 percent disabled) and another disability; or have disabilities evaluated as 60 percent or more disabling. A veteran cannot receive both A&A and Housebound benefits at the same time.
MILLITARY RETIREMENT PAYHistorically, veterans have not been permitted to receive full military pay and federal VA compensation for benefits at the same time. Veterans who were entitled to both have had to either waive a portion of their retirement equaling the amount of awarded federal VA compensation or elect not to receive federal VA compensation at all. Receiving both benefits and retirement pay is commonly known as “Concurrent Receipt.” In 2004, Congress passed the Concurrent Retired and Disability Act, allowing many veterans to receive 100 percent of their military retirement and federal VA compensation if their VA disability is above 50 percent. If the Disability rating is 40 percent or lower, it is deducted from the retirement pay. Because of the complexity of this issue, please visit www.dfas.mil for more information.
SPECIAL MONTHLY COMPENSATIONThe federal VA offers additional compensation, called Special Monthly Compensation, to veterans with very severe service-connected disabilities, or who have lost (or lost the use of) limbs, organs, or extremities because of their military service. The VA may also pay higher rates of compensation if you have lost the use of more than one limb, organ, or extremity, or if it is combined with another service-connected disability or condition, such as blindness or deafness. SMC may also be paid to veterans’ spouses, surviving spouses, and parents if the veteran is bedridden, housebound, or requires the aid and attendance of another person to perform the basic functions of everyday life, such as eating, dressing, bathing, and going to the bathroom. More information can be found on the federal VA’s website at www.benefits.va.gov/compensation The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs operates a robust and comprehensive health care system for veterans in Alaska. Included in this system are six VA Health Care facilities, four Veteran Centers, Alaska VA Native Health Care Sharing Agreements, and numerous commercial contracted medical facilities across the state.
ENHANCED COMBAT VETERAN BENEFITVeterans, including members of the National Guard and activated reservists, are eligible for 5-year post deployment medical benefit. This benefit is for those who served on active duty in a theater of combat operations after Nov. 11, 1998 and have been discharged under Honorable conditions.
BASIC ELIGIBILITYA person who served in the active military service and was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable may qualify for federal VA health care benefits. Reserve and National Guard members may also qualify for federal VA health care benefits if they were called to active duty (other than for training only) by a federal order and completed the full period for which they were called or ordered to active duty.
VETERAN COMMUNITY CAREA new replacement program for the Choice program provides veterans a greater choice over their health care by using VA facilities or community care providers. There are a variety of improvements under the VA Mission Act of 2018 that makes community care work better for veterans, including streamlined eligibility criteria, a single community care program, better customer service, and a new urgent care benefit.
NON-VA MEDICAL CENTER EMERGENCY CAREVeterans are eligible for emergency care at non-VA facilities under certain circumstances. The 2010 Veterans Emergency Care Protective Act enables the federal VA to reimburse veterans, enrolled in federal VA health care, for the cost of emergency treatment. If non-VA emergency care is received, notification to the nearest federal VA health care facility must be made within 72 hours of hospitalization. Federal VA payment is limited up to the point that the veteran’s condition is stable for transportation to a VA approved facility
WOMEN VETERANS’ HEALTH CAREComprehensive health services are available to women veterans including primary care, specialty care, mental health care, and reproductive health care services. The federal VA provides management of acute and chronic illnesses, preventative care, contraceptive services, menopause management, cancer screenings including pap smears and mammograms, and gynecology. Maternity care is covered in the medical benefits package to include care for newborn children of women veterans for up to seven days after birth. Women veterans program managers are available at the federal VA facilities to help veterans seeking treatment and benefits.
VA/ TRIBAL HEALTH CARE SHARING AGREEMENTThe tribal reimbursement program provides a means for tribal health facilities to receive reimbursement from the federal VA for direct care and services provided to American Indian and Alaska Native eligible veterans, as well as all veterans who live in and around tribal facilities in Alaska
GUIDE DOGS & SERVICE DOGSThe federal VA may provide information on guide dogs to blind veterans including the expense of training the veteran on how to use them and the cost of the dog’s medical care. Additionally, the state Office of Veterans Affairs may also provide information on service dogs trained for the aid of hearing-impaired veterans, as well as veterans with spinal cord injuries, dysfunction, and other chronic impairments that substantially limit mobility. Work with OVA or a local VSO for more information.
CLOTHING ALLOWANCEThe federal VA pays a clothing allowance to veterans who, because of a service-connected disability, wear or use a prosthetic or orthopedic appliance (including a wheelchair), which the VA determines tends to wear out or tear the clothing. The VA will also pay a clothing allowance to veterans who use medication prescribed by federal VA physicians for skin conditions caused by service-connected disabilities, which the VA determines causes irreparable damage to the veteran’s outer garment. Work with OVA or a local VSO to receive updated information and applications.
AUTOMOTIVE ALLOWANCEVeterans and service members may be eligible for a one-time payment toward the purchase of an automobile or other conveyance if they have service-connected loss or permanent loss of use of one or both hands or feet, permanent impairment of vision of both eyes to a certain degree, or ankylosis (immobility) of one or both knees or one or both hips. They may also be eligible for adaptive equipment, and for repair, replacement, or reinstallation required because of disability or for the safe operation of a vehicle purchased with VA assistance.
ALASKA VA VETERANS CENTERSVet Centers are community-based counseling centers that provide a wide range of social and psychological services, including professional readjustment counseling to eligible veterans, active-duty service members, including National Guard and Reserve components, and their families. Readjustment counseling is offered to make a successful transition from military to civilian life or after a traumatic event experienced in the military. Individual, group, marriage, and family counseling is offered, in addition to referral and connection to other VA or community benefits and services. Vet Center counselors and outreach staff, many of whom are veterans themselves, are experienced and prepared to discuss the tragedies of war, loss, grief, and transition after trauma.
COLLEGE CREDIT FOR MILITARY TRAININGAll universities and local community colleges in Alaska use the recommendations made by the American Council on Education to award academic credit toward a degree for education and training received in the military. To claim college credit for military training, request a transcript from your military service branch. Each service branch will provide official copies to schools at no charge.
STATE TUITION ASSISTANCE FOR THE ALASKA AIR & ARMY NATIONAL GUARDAlaska National Guard members may receive up to 100 percent tuition assistance at any University of Alaska system school. All Alaska National Guard members are encouraged to contact the National Guard education office
FREE TUITION WAIVER FOR FAMILY MEMBERS OF ALASKA RESIDENTS WHO DIED IN THE LINE OF DUTYSpouses and dependents of armed service members who were Alaska residents and died in the line of duty or are listed by the Department of Defense as a Prisoners of War or were Killed in Action, are entitled to a waiver of all undergraduate tuition and fees through the University of Alaska system. Contact your University of Alaska school before entering a program.
STATEWIDE APPRENTICESHIPSIf eligible, an apprentice may use veterans’ educational benefits while registered in an apprenticeship program. If an existing apprenticeship program does not have an approved veterans’ program in place, veterans can coordinate the establishment of a new training program by communicating with the employer and the State Approving Agency manager for Alaska
MONTGOMERY GI BILLMontgomery GI Bill (MGIB) benefits are available for service members and veterans to help with education and training costs by providing direct funds to them for education. MGIB can be used to pay for many different programs including bachelor’s degrees; business, technical, or vocational courses; distant learning, including correspondence courses; apprenticeship/job training; flight training; licensing; and certification exams. Eligibility expires 10 years after the service member’s discharge. There are exceptions for disability, re-entering active duty or upgraded discharges
POST 9/11 BILLThe Post 9/11 GI Bill provides financial support for education and housing to Honorably discharged veterans with at least 90 days of aggregate service on title 10 Active Duty or Title 32 Active Guard Reserve Duty after Sept. 10, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. The Post 9/11 GI Bill will pay an eligible individual’s full tuition and fees directly to the school for all public school in-state students attending classes at a greater than half-time rate. A monthly housing allowance based on the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents is also provided. Distance Learning enrollee’s housing allowance is equal to half the national average BAH for an E-5 with dependents. An annual book and supplies stipend of $1,000 is paid proportionately based on enrollment. This benefit provides up to 36 months of education; generally, benefits are payable for 15 years following release if you separated before January 2013. After January 2013, veterans separating from the military will not experience a termination due to time passage. This benefit may be transferred to dependents and spouse based on number of years of active duty and must be accomplished before the military member leaves active duty.
EDITH NOURSE ROGERS SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY ENGINEERING MATH SCOLARSHIPThe VA has launched the Edith Nourse Rogers Stem Scholarship program for students training in high demand STEM fields. The Rogers STEM Scholarship will provide up to nine months of additional Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits (to a maximum of $30,000) to qualified veterans and Fry Scholars seeking an undergraduate STEM degree or who have earned a STEM degree and are seeking a teaching certification. The Edith Nourse Rogers Stem Scholarship is a provision of the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act (Forever GI Bill) that gives extra benefits to students training in the high-demand fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. Obtaining a degree in these areas may require more training than other fields. This provision aims to help cover the difference and give additional incentive for students who choose the careers our society needs most.
YELLOW RIBBON EDUCATION ENHANCEMENT PROGRAMThe program assists eligible individuals with payment of their tuition and fees in instances where costs exceed the most expensive in-state undergraduate tuition at a public institution of higher education. To be eligible, the student must be a veteran receiving benefits at the 100 percent benefit rate payable or a transfer-of-entitlement-eligible dependent child or spouse of a veteran. The VA will match the school’s percentage (up to 50 percent) to reduce or eliminate out of pocket costs for the eligible participant. To receive this benefit, your school must agree to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program. Three universities located in Alaska participate in the program
VETERAN READINESS & EMPLOYMENTVeteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) is a program that assists veterans with service-connected disabilities to prepare for, find, and keep suitable jobs. For veterans with service-connected disabilities so severe that they cannot immediately consider work, Vet Success offers services to improve their ability to live as independently as possible. You may receive VR&E services to help with job training, employment accommodations, resume development, and job-seeking-skills coaching. Other services may be provided to assist veterans and service members in starting their own businesses or independent living services for those who are severely disabled and unable to work in traditional employment. VA’s VR&E counseling program is a great opportunity for veterans and service members to get personalized counseling and support to help guide their career paths, ensure the most effective use of their VA benefits, and achieve their goals.
ALASKA VETERANS & PIONEERS HOMEIn 2004, the Alaska legislature approved development of the state’s first veteran’s home. After extensive remodeling and upgrades to meet federal VA requirements, the facility was renamed the Alaska Veterans and Pioneers Home. The home strives to assist older Alaskans to have the highest quality of life by providing assisted living in a safe home setting that promotes independence, positive relationships, meaningful activities, as well as physical, emotional, and spiritual growth. Qualifying veterans are eligible for a per diem from the federal VA to offset costs of their care.
VA HOME LOAN GUARANTYThe federal VA does not actually lend money to veterans. Federal VA guaranteed loans are made by private lenders, such as banks, saving and loans, credit unions, or mortgage companies. The VA guaranty means the lender is protected if the veteran fails to repay the loan. You can apply for a VA loan with any mortgage lender that participates in the VA Home Loan program. The spouse of a veteran who receives Dependency and Indemnity Compensation can also apply for home loan eligibility.
ALASKA HOUSING AND RESIDENTIAL LOANSThe Alaska Housing Financial Corporation (AHFC) administers the Veterans Mortgage program, which offers financing for qualified veterans at a lower interest rate. To apply for a loan under this program, contact an AHFC approved lender. AHFC also offers a Veterans Interest Rate Preference, in which a veteran receives a one percent lower interest rate on the first $50,000 of a bank loan when purchasing a new home. Ask the bank handling the financing to implement this program for you.
SPECIAL HOUSING ADAPTATIONS GRANTThe federal VA may approve the Special Housing Adaptations grant to the actual cost for adaptions for a veteran’s residence that are determined by the VA to be reasonably necessary. The grant also may be used to assist veterans in acquiring a residence that already has been adapted with special features for the veteran’s disability. To qualify for this grant, veterans must be entitled to compensation for permanent and total service-connected disability to certain specifications
TEMPOARY RESIDENCE ADAPTIONS GRANTThe Temporary Residence Adaptions grant is designed to assist eligible veterans who are temporarily residing in a housing unit owned by a family member. Grant funds may be used to adapt the family member’s housing unit to meet the current need of the veteran. In order to receive the TRA, the veteran must meet the qualification of the SHA or the SAH grants
HOUSING ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY GRANT PROGRAMThe federal VA, through its Specially Adapted Housing Assistive Technology grant (SAHAT) program, is authorized to award grants each fiscal year to encourage the development of specially adapted housing assistive technologies. There are many emerging technologies that could improve home adaptions or enhance a veteran’s or service member’s ability to live independently, such as voice recognition and voice command operations, living environment controls, and adaptive feeding equipment.
HOME IMPROVEMENTS & STRUCTURAL ALTERATIONSThis grant provides medically necessary improvements and structural alterations to a veteran’s/service member’s primary residence for the following purposes:
- Allowing entrance to or exit from their homes
- Use of essential lavatory and sanitary facilities (ex: wheelchair accessible showers) Allowing accessibility to kitchen or bathroom sinks or counters (ex: lowering sinks and counters)
- Improving entrance paths or driveways in immediate areas of the home to facilitate access to the home through construction or permanent ramping
- Improving plumbing or electrical systems made necessary because of the installation of home medical equipment
ALASKA PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTIONReal 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 at 50 percent or more by their military service or the federal VA, is exempt from taxation on the first $150,000 of assessed valuation. The exemption transfers to the spouse if the veteran passes away and the spouse is at least 60 years of age. For more information, contact your local tax assessor’s office by March 15 for the current year exemption.
VETERAN LAND DISCOUNT/PURCHANSE PREFERENCEThe Veterans Land Discount program allows certain veterans a 20 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 veteran’s preference. Under the veteran’s land sale preference, before offering to the public an unoccupied residential land by auction, a veteran has the exclusive opportunity to 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. A fact sheet is available on benefits administered by the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mining, Land and Water Management.
DEPENDENCY & INDEMNITY COMPENATIONDependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is the primary monthly monetary benefit payable to surviving dependents of a deceased veteran and is the equivalent benefit to disability compensation for veterans. This benefit is payable if the veteran died while on active duty or in the line of duty, and death was not due to willful misconduct; if death was after service, the death was caused or attributed to a service-connected disability. The rate is increased for each dependent child and if the surviving spouse is housebound or in need of aid and attendance. The federal VA also adds a transitional benefit per child to the surviving spouse’s monthly DIC if there are children under age 18.
DEATH PENSIONSThe Death (Survivor) Pension is a needs-based benefit paid to an unmarried surviving spouse, or an unmarried child, who meets certain age or disability requirements, of a deceased wartime veteran. To qualify for the federal VA Death Pension, the VA calculates income received from most sources by the surviving spouse and any eligible children. It includes earning, disability and retirement payments, unemployment insurance payments, interest and dividend payments, and net income from farming, business, or rental property. If the income is below a certain level, the dependent or surviving spouse may be eligible for this pension.
HEADSTONES & MARKER FOR SURVIVORSSpouses and eligible dependents are not eligible for a furnished headstone or marker unless they are buried in a national cemetery, state veteran’s cemetery, or a military post/base cemetery.
SURVIVOR BENEFIT PLANWhen a military retiree dies, their retirement pays stops. This may mean that the surviving spouse no longer receives a monthly income. One option for surviving spouses is the Survivor Benefits Plan (SBP). The SBP is an insurance plan that gives the veteran’s surviving spouse a monthly payment (annuity) to help make up for the loss of retirement income. This payment is not the full retirement, but a portion established at the time of retirement between the retired military member, his/her spouse, and the retirement counselor.
VA HOME LOAN GUARANTYThe spouse of a veteran can also apply for home loan eligibility under one of the following conditions: unmarried spouse of a veteran who died while in service or from a service-connected disability, or spouse of a service member missing in action or a prisoner of war, or surviving spouse who remarries on or after attaining age 57.
SPOUSE MEDICAL BENEFITThis Civilian Health and Medical Program of the VA (CHAMPVA) is a comprehensive health care program in which the VA shares the cost of covered health care services and supplies with eligible beneficiaries. Because of the similarity between CHAMPVA and the Department of Defense’s TRICARE program, the two are often mistaken for each other. If the surviving spouse is eligible for TRICARE, he/she is not eligible for CHAMPVA. TRICARE is a regionally managed health care program for active duty and retired members of the uniformed services. In some cases, a veteran may look to be eligible for both/program on paper. However, if you are a military retiree or the spouse of a veteran who was killed in action, you are and will always be a TRICARE beneficiary.
POST 9/11 GI BILL TRANSFER OF ENTITLEMENTThe Post 9/11 GI Bill also offers some service members the opportunity to transfer their GI Bill benefits to dependents. An individual approved to transfer an entitlement to education assistance under this section may transfer to the individual’s spouse, or one or more of the individual’s children, or a combination of spouse and child. A family member must be enrolled in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System and be eligible for the benefit at the time of transfer to receive the transferred education benefits. Also, the military member must accomplish this transfer of benefits before leaving active duty and qualify to move the benefit at the time of transfer. This transfer cannot be accomplished after retirement or leaving active duty.
ALASKA VETERNS’ DEPENDENT TUITION WAVER PROGRAMThe spouse and dependents of an armed service member, who was an Alaska resident and died in the line of duty or was listed by the Department of Defense as a Prisoner of War, or was killed in action, is entitled to a waiver of undergraduate tuition at any University of Alaska system school.
DEPENDENTS’ EDUCATION ASSISTANCEThe Survivors’ and Dependents’ Education Assistance (DEA) program is a federal VA benefit that provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents, spouses, and survivors of certain veterans. The program offers up to 36 months of education benefits. To be eligible, you must be the dependent or spouse of: a veteran who died or is permanently and totally disabled as the result of a service-connected disability, a veteran who died from any service-connected disability, a service member missing in action or captured in the line of duty, or a service member forcibly detained or interned in the line of duty.
MARINE GUNNERY SERGEANT JOHN DAVID FRY SCHOLARSHIPChildren of an active-duty member of the armed forces who has died in the line of duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001, are eligible for the FRY Scholarship. Eligible children attending school may receive up to their full tuition and fees for a public school or a statutory annual maximum amount for public school, plus a monthly living stipend and book allowance under this program. For more information about the Fry Scholarship,
ALASKA PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTIONReal 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 at 50 percent or more by their military service or the federal VA, is exempt from taxation on the first $150,000 of assessed valuation. The exemption transfers to the spouse if the veteran passes away and the spouse is at least 60 years of age
PRE-NEED BURIAL ELIGIBILITY DETERMINATIONThe federal VA has implemented a pre-need burial eligibility determination program to assist anyone who would like to know if he/she is eligible for burial in a VA national cemetery. Veterans and their eligible family members are encouraged to plan to use federal VA burial benefits that were earned through military service. Planning in advance for a veteran’s or loved one’s final resting place can eliminate unnecessary delays and reduce stress on a family at a difficult time. Burial in a national cemetery is open to all members of the U.S. Armed Forces and veterans who have met the minimum active-duty service requirements, as applicable by law. Spouses, minor children, and under certain conditions, dependent unmarried adult children are also eligible for burial even if they predecease the veteran.
SERVICE-RELATED DEATHIf the veterans’ death is service connected, the VA will pay a burial allowance up to the maximum set by law for death on or after September 11, 2001. If the veteran is buried in a VA national cemetery, some, or all of the cost of moving the veteran’s body to the national cemetery nearest the veteran’s home may also be reimbursed. There is no time limit for applying for a service-connected burial allowance. The person who bore the veteran’s burial expense may claim reimbursement from any VA regional office.
NON-SERVICE-RELATED DEATHThe federal VA will pay up to an amount set by law toward the burial and funeral expense for death on or after Oct. 1, 2016, that is non-service-connected and if not buried in a national cemetery.
BURIAL PLOT ALLOWANCEWhen a veteran is interned in a cemetery that is not under U.S. government jurisdiction, the federal VA may also pay a plot allowance, provided that the veteran was discharged under a condition other than dishonorable, bad conduct, or other than honorable, and meets other qualifications like that of a nonservice connected death.
CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSESTo file for reimbursement of burial expenses, an Application of Burial Allowance form must be submitted to the VA. The person filing the claim must also provide a certified copy of the veteran’s death certificate and proof of the veteran’s military service (DD Form 214), as well as itemized bills of the funeral and burial expenses.
BURIAL FLAGA U.S. flag is provided, at no cost, to drape the casket or accompany an urn of a deceased veteran who served Honorably in the U.S. Armed Forces. It is furnished to honor the memory of a veteran’s military service to his or her country. When burial is in a national, state or post cemetery, a burial flag will automatically be provided. When burial is in a private cemetery, the funeral director will generally help the next of kin with this process. Also, one can attain the forms for the U.S. flag at any post office.
BURIAL BENEFITSDependents and surviving spouses of an eligible veteran are eligible to be interned in one of Alaska’s two national cemeteries. One is in Anchorage at the Ft Richardson National Cemetery and the other is located on the island of Sitka. When death occurs and eligibility for interment in a national cemetery is determined, grave space is assigned by the cemetery director in the name of the veteran or family member. One gravesite is permitted for the interment of all eligible family members. There is no charge for burial in a national cemetery.
HEADSTONES, MARKERS AND MEDALLIONSThe federal VA furnishes, upon request and at no charge, a government headstone or marker for the unmarked grave of any eligible veteran in any cemetery around the world, regardless of their date of death. For eligible veterans who died on or after Nov. 1, 1990, and whose grave is marked with a privately purchased headstone, the VA may also furnish a headstone or marker to supplement the grave or a medallion to be affixed to the privately purchased headstone. Eligible veterans are entitled to either a government furnished headstone or marker, or the medallion, but not both
MILITARY FUNERAL HONORSThe Department of Defense is responsible for providing dignified military funeral honors. Upon the family’s request, Public Law 106-65 requires that every eligible veteran receive Military Funeral Honors in a ceremony, to include the folding and presentation of the U.S. burial flag and the playing of “TAPS.” For more information, contact the Alaska Army National Guard Honor Guard “Military Funeral Honors” team
COMMISSARY/MILITARY SERVICE EXCHANGE & MORALE, WELFARE & RECREATIONThe Department of Defense has expanded access to Commissary/Military Service Exchange and Morale, Welfare and Recreation facilities to all disabled veterans along with former POWs and those awarded the Purple Heart Medal. Veterans who are eligible and want to take advantage of in-person benefits must have a Veterans Health Identification Card (VHIC). Primary Family Caregivers must have an eligibility letter from the VA’s Office of Community Care. The VHIC must display the veteran’s eligibility status (i.e. Purple Heart Medal recipient, former POW status, or service connected disability). Veterans must be enrolled in the VA health care system to receive a VHIC. You can complete an application for enrollment in VA health care by telephone without the need for a signed paper application
TRAVEL REIEMBURSEMENTThe federal VA has the authority to provide eligible beneficiaries reimbursement for mileage, special mode of transportation, and in certain circumstance, a taxi or hired car.
VA TRIBAL HEALTH CARE SHARING AGREEMENTThe tribal reimbursement program provides a means for tribal health facilities to receive reimbursement from the federal VA for direct care and services provided to American Indian and Alaska Native eligible veterans, as well as all veterans who live in and around tribal facilities in Alaska. This increases our total care facilities to 127 across the state.
VA ALASKA HIGHLY RURAL TRAVEL GRANTThe U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Transportation Program, provides to the State of Alaska, through the Office of Veterans Affairs, a $250,000 annual travel grant. This grant provides transportation options to veterans residing in five rural areas who need to access health care services. The following five VA approved boroughs continue to provide free transportation for veterans: Denali, Matanuska-Susitna, Kodiak Island, Kenai Peninsula, and Prince of Wales-Hyder. Veterans living in those communities qualify to use an array of transportation options so that they may seek the health care they need. The Office of Veterans Affairs identified and partnered with five transportation organizations to meet those needs: Interior Alaska Bus Line (Denali Borough), Valley Mover (Matanuska-Susitna Borough), Alaska Marine Highway System (Kodiak Island Borough), AAA Alaska Cab, Inc., (Kenai Peninsula Borough) and Inter-Island Ferry System Authority (Prince of Wales–Hyder). Transportation continues at no cost to veterans requiring access to the VA Medical Clinic or Community Based Outpatient Clinics, as well as hospitals under the Native Health Care Sharing Agreement or VA authorized vendors, such as pharmacies or medical specialists. Funds are limited in each area, and this program is used if Travel Reimbursement is not covered for the eligible veteran.
VETS FIRST VERIFICATION PROGRAMThe federal VA has developed a Verification Assistance Program to help veterans understand the verification policy and process. The goal of the program is to reduce the risk of denials stemming from a lack of understanding and misinterpretation of the regulations. The Vets First Verification Program affords verified firms owned and controlled by veterans and service-disabled veterans the opportunity to compete for VA set asides/direct contracts.
PROCUREMENT TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMThe Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP) was authorized by Congress in 1985 to expand the number of businesses capable of participating in the government marketplace. Administered by the Department of Defense, Defense Logistics Agency, the program provides matching funds through cooperative agreements with state and local governments and non-profit organizations for the establishment of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) to provide procurement assistance. If you are a veteran interested in starting or growing your own business, you are not alone! Many partners are on your side and want to help you secure a financial future for you and your family. The federal VA has developed a Verification Assistance Program to help veterans understand the verification policy and process. The goal of the program is to reduce the risk of denials stemming from a lack of understanding and misinterpretation of the regulations. The Vets First Verification Program affords verified firms owned and controlled by veterans and service-disabled veterans the opportunity to compete for VA set asides/direct contracts. Some PTACs are administered directly by state governments; others partner with universities, community colleges, local economic development corporations, or other local institutions. Some PTACs operate within Bureau of Indian Affairs areas exclusively serving Native American owned businesses. Many are affiliated in some way with Small Business Development Centers and other small business programs. All PTACs are staffed with counselors experienced in government contracting and provide a wide range of services including classes and seminars, individual counseling, and easy access to bid opportunities, contract specifications, procurement histories, and other information necessary to successfully compete for government contracts. Many PTAC counselors have backgrounds in government acquisitions, and virtually all receive ongoing training to keep pace with continually evolving acquisitions procedures and policies. The Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers provides a network that allows any PTAC counselor almost instant access to the expertise and experience of over 500 colleagues, as well as real-time information from government agencies regarding new requirements and initiatives.
PUBLIC SECTOR ALASKA VETERANS’ PREFERENCEUnder Alaska law, a public employer may provide veterans’ preference to veterans seeking employment. This is voluntary and some companies located in our great state offer this incentive.
VETERAN EMPLOYMENT TAX CREDITA taxpayer who hires a veteran and employs the veteran in the state is entitled to a tax credit. Certain conditions apply, as outlined in the instructions from Form 6325 found at the Department of Revenue, Tax Division
ALASKA DISABLED VETERANS & VETERANS EMPLYMENT REPRESENTATIVESVeterans can find employment information, education and training opportunities, job counseling, job search workshops, and resume preparation assistance at Alaska Job Centers. The offices have specialists who assist veterans and disabled veterans to find employment. Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Specialists (DVOPs) and Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVERs) assist veterans in applying for federal, state, local government, and private sector employment. You are eligible for DVOP services if:
- You served on active duty for more than 180 days (not including training) and were discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.
- You were medically discharged, regardless of amount of time you served on active duty.
- You were a member of a National Guard or Reserve unit activated by presidential declaration, for which campaign badges/medals were issued or authorized for the full period of activation, and you were discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.
ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF LABOR & WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENTVeteran Services The Alaska Department of Labor offers priority service and benefits to veterans and eligible spouses or caregivers who are seeking employment, apprenticeship opportunities, and in some cases, paid on-the-job-training programs. Who is Eligible? Veterans who served at least one day in the active military, naval, or air service, and who were discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable, are eligible for priority of service.
- Advanced job opening notification; designated computers for veteran use; and advanced use of available training funds
- Priority of service when using job center resource rooms, with internet, copiers, fax machines, and phones
- Workshops to build effective resumes and bolster interviewing skills Personal career counseling from job center staff Referrals to other partner agencies within a complex arena of federal and local programs
- Comprehensive and specialized assessments of skill levels and service needs
- Development of an individual employment plan to identify employment goals
- Group counseling
- Individual counseling and career planning
- Short-term pre-vocational services that may include development of learning skills, communication skills, interviewing skills, punctuality, personal maintenance skills, and professional conduct to prepare for unsubsidized employment or training
ALAKSA HUNTING & FISHING LICENSE
- Members of the military service or the U.S Coast Guard who are on active duty permanently stationed in Alaska, or a dependent of a military member serving on active duty permanently stationed in Alaska, may apply for licenses, and pay the resident rate
- Active members of the Alaska National Guard and Reserves, who are stationed in Alaska and have met the residency requirements under AS 16.05.415 and AS 16.05.940, may receive a free hunting and sport fishing license. The license will only be available through the State of Alaska Headquarters Licensing office. The application/affidavit must be signed by an authorized official.
- Resident hunting and sport fishing licenses are available at no charge to honorably discharged veterans with a 50 percent or more service-connected disability who are Alaska residents.