Alaska Will Pay You Over $1,500 Per Year Just To Live There

Alaska Will Pay You Over $1,500 Per Year Just To Live There

Kim Pinnelli

by Kim Pinnelli
Senior Contributing Writer

Updated August 3, 2021
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Alaska Will Pay You Over $1,500 Per Year Just To Live There

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Alaska Will Pay You Over $1,500 Per Year Just To Live There It's true – you can get paid to live in Alaska! The program will pay between $500 and $2,000 per year from the Alaska Department of Revenue. Alaska is one of a handful of states offering financial incentives to its residents, similar to Vermont's Remote Worker Grant Program and Tulsa's Remote Program which pays $10,000 to move to Tulsa. Most people living in Alaska get the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend, which is just over $1,500 in free money per year. This practice started in 1982 when the Alaska Permanent Fund Foundation split its funds from the Alaskan oils into funds that couldn't be touched and an energy reserve. The council decided in 1982 to share a portion of the energy reserve with the Alaskan residents, which is when the PFD began.

How To Register for the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend

Residents must register every year for the PFD. This year, registration runs from January 1 through March 31. The Alaska Permanent Fund Foundation announces the PFD amount in September. They then begin paying out the dividend in October of that year. In 2019, residents each received $1,606.

You must apply for the fund every year. You can do so online or complete a paper application. If you are applying for the first time, you may have to provide more information than you would if you were reapplying.

Qualifying for the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend

So how do you qualify for the Permanent Fund Dividend? You must meet the following qualifications:

  • Be a resident of Alaska for the entire calendar year
  • Plan to remain an Alaskan resident indefinitely
  • You can't claim residency in any other state or take any other state's benefit for residency
  • You can't have a conviction in the previous year
  • You can't have served jail time in the previous year
  • You can't be gone from Alaska for more than 180 days without approval

You have to meet all of these conditions in order to be eligible for the PFD.

Does Alaska Pay you to Live There?

The Permanent Fund Dividend certainly sounds like Alaska is one of those places that you pay you to move there, and in fact, it is. The Permanent Fund Dividend is an incentive to move to Alaska and set up permanent residency. As a part of the eligibility process, you must demonstrate your intent to live in Alaska indefinitely. This goes beyond showing your physical presence in the state.

How do you prove your intent to live there indefinitely? You'll need to do one of the following:

  • Provide proof of moving your household items to Alaska with moving truck receipts or other proof
  • Proof of a lease agreement in your name
  • Proof of a mortgage in your name
  • Proof of employment in Alaska
  • Proof of vehicle registration
  • Proof of voter registration

This isn't the first program Alaska has offered to entice people to move in – in the 1800s, the Homestead Act offered free land to people willing to live on the land of 5 years, build a home, and develop agriculture. While the Permanent Fund Dividend is a novel way to share oil royalties with its residents and provide a great incentive to move to Alaska, it's probably not the ideal place for most people to live in the big picture. Despite Alaska's natural beauty and vastness, it presents many challenges to those who live there – such as the higher cost of living, remote isolation, and cold temperatures.

Ensure that Alaska is somewhere that you can live comfortably – if you're used to living in a big city, it might not be a great fit.