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COVID-19

A message from the PFD Division
last updated 4/14/20

The PFD Division is aware of the fact that many Alaskans are being affected by COVID-19.This could be due to travel circumstances that have changed, difficulties in getting documentation that is necessary for an eligibility determination, or a myriad of other challenges that we have heard about.The main message that we want to send right now is to be patient, and don’t put yourself or your family members at risk by attempting to obtain documents that don’t allow you to abide by the recommended safety behaviors.We understand that we are still in the middle of this crisis and will be able to provide firmer guidelines once we are out the other side.For now, please communicate with us via e-mail or phone.Look below for answers to some commonly asked questions.

PFD Absence Extension

On April 09, 2020, Governor Dunleavy signed SB 241, which provides some emergency relief.One of the items in this bill is an extension for the PFD’s 180 day rule.

“ALLOWABLE ABSENCE FOR THE PERMANENT FUND DIVIDEND.

Notwithstanding AS 43.23.005(a)(4) and 43.23.008(d), during the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) public health disaster emergency declared by the governor on March 1, 2020, as extended by sec. 2 of this Act, an individual otherwise eligible for a permanent fund dividend who has notified the commissioner of revenue or the commissioner’s designee that the individual expects to be absent from the state for a continuous period on or after March 22, 2020, remains eligible to receive a permanent fund dividend if the only reason the individual would be ineligible to receive a permanent fund dividend is that the individual was absent from the state because of conduct, including maintaining a voluntary or compulsory quarantine, related to avoiding or preventing the spread of COVID-19.”

The Commissioner’s office has designated the PFD Division as the designee.  This means that you do not need to reach out to the Commissioner of Revenue, but rather, follow the steps as outlined below.

Guidance for Alaskans who are on vacation

For Alaskans who don’t fall into a specific “Allowable Absence” category, you are provided 180 days to travel outside of the state within a calendar year.  SB 241 provides an extension to the total number of days that you can be gone IF your absence is extended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What do I do?

  • Fill out an Explanation Detail form, informing us of your original plans to return, and how the COVID-19 pandemic altered those.
  • Plan to return to the state within 30 days of the emergency declaration being lifted.
  • If your current time away has extended past 180 days, DO NOT plan to leave the state for a voluntary reason until January 1, 2021.  Example: If you typically spend October through April in Arizona, but this year you were unable to come back from Arizona until July 15th, do not plan to leave back to Arizona this coming October.  You will want to wait until January 1, 2021 if you want to qualify for the 2021 PFD.  If you would like to still leave, it will simply mean that you’ll miss one PFD.  If you don’t take residency outside of Alaska, you will still be a resident, and will be able to apply the following year.It’s simply a year you missed.

Alaskan College Students

  • Fill out an Explanation Detail form, informing us of your original plans to return, and how the COVID-19 pandemic altered those.
  • Plan to return to the state within 30 days of the emergency declaration being lifted.
  • For the 2020 PFD application year (current year), we understand that it might be a challenge to get your school registrar’s office to complete our Education Verification form for your 2019 absences.  Please let the division/technician know if you are unable to get the form completed at this time.  We can extend your deadline to return it to the division with the understanding that your final determination will be held until the completed form has been provided.

Alaskan’s Using the 72 Hour Rule or 5 Year Rule

  • Fill out an Explanation Detail form, informing us of your original plans to return, and how the COVID-19 pandemic altered those.
  • Plan to return to the state within 30 days of the emergency declaration being lifted.
  • Provide the flight detail on what you had booked, and had canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

2020 PFD application supplemental documentation

Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, we recognize that some of the documentation that is required in order to determine eligibility is unavailable at this time.  The division understands and will be extending time that documentation provided by a third party should be returned to the division.  This applies to items such as, but not limited to, an Education Verification form, Medical documentation, etc.  Notify the division (by phone or email) so that information can be added to your record.

Birth Certificate/Passport/Naturalization Document

First time filers are required to provide the original documents to the division.  Those items can be mailed in and they will be returned.  If you prefer to bring in those documents, you will have to wait until the division is open to the public again.  Please notify the division (phone/email) of this preference so that we do not deny your application (or that of a sponsored child) for not responding.

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