Alaska residents to get $992 from Permanent Fund dividend

The Alaska Permanent Fund dividend was finalized at $992 and distribution is expected to begin early this year because of economic impacts caused by the coronavirus pandemic, state department officials said.

The state Department of Revenue made the announcement Friday, saying payments are expected to begin July 1 instead of in October.

“We are in extraordinary times. We need to make sure that the people of Alaska have cash in their hands to help in this economy,” Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy said in May. “I can’t think of a better time to do that than now, but we are going to have to wait for a month and a half.”

Residents who receive their payments by direct deposit and have been cleared for the check by June 19 are expected to receive the first disbursement in July, department officials said. The Department of Revenue estimates about 90% of all applicants will receive their check by July 1.

Paper checks will be mailed starting July 1 to residents without direct deposit, officials said.

The state budget passed earlier this year called for about $680 million in spending, which amounted to just under $1,000 for each recipient after people applied.

This is the smallest Alaska Permanent Fund dividend payout since 2013 when a $900 check was distributed, KTUU-TV reported.

Legislators or the governor have set the dividend amount during the annual budget-making process since 2016. A 2017 decision by the state Supreme Court said a traditional dividend-payment formula that was used from 1982 through 2015 remains on file but is not binding, the Anchorage Daily New reported.