Getting Paid to Live in Alaska – (a.k.a. the PFD – Personal Fund Dividend)

A lot of my readers and followers are those interested in moving to Alaska. I often have people who hear you can get paid to live here. Read the post to find out more about the PFD – Personal Fund Dividend. 


So you’ve heard you can get paid to live in Alaska. Well, while this might sound all wonderful and everything, there’s a little more to it than that. Here’s what you need to know before you pack up all of your belongings and move to the Last Frontier hoping to find your pot of gold.

The Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) was created after the discovery of oil as a savings account for future generations who would no longer have oil revenue to operate the state. The fund initially started off with approximately $730,000 in it, while today the fund has over $53 billion. The state uses the fund’s earnings to pay out the PFD. This amount varies each year depending upon the fund’s earnings and performance.

In 2016, each person was supposed to receive $2044, but the governor vetoed half of that due to the state’s current budget crisis. In reality we each received $1022 this past October. In 2015, the amount was $2072, which was the largest pay-out ever.

Image result for alaska pfd amount over the years

In order to declare residency and obtain this dividend, you must live in Alaska a full calendar year (January 1- December 31) before receiving the money the following year.

For example, say you moved here on January 15, 2017. This means you would not be eligible for the 2018 dividend. Instead, you would need to live here from January 1, 2018 – December 31, 2018 before you received the money October 2019.

Other things to note:

  • Any baby born to parents who are Alaska residents will receive their PFD the following year. (Cullen was born October 2014, and he received a PFD October 2015.)
  • One question asked on the PFD application is: “is it your intent to remain in Alaska indefinitely?”  If you say it is not your intent, you would not qualify for the PDF. (This could pose a problem for military personnel.)
  • If you are sentenced, convicted, or were incarcerated for a felony during the year, you would be disqualified from receiving the dividend.
  • If you declare residency in Alaska, you have to spend a certain number of days living here, so check the specifics if you “snow bird,” are in college out of state, or spend several months living elsewhere during the year.

There’s a lot of exceptions and special case scenarios (adoption, military, “snow birds,” etc.), so check out the FAQ page the state provided if you have more specific questions.

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