This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion.
More than 100,000 Alaskans have already filed for their Alaska Permanent Fund dividend check already, which opened to qualified residents Jan. 1.
As of Saturday night, 101,266 had filed, according to date provided online by the Permanent Fund Dividend Division.
There’s still plenty of time to file, with the deadline this year being at 11:59 p.m. March 31.
Last year’s permanent fund dividend check was $1,606. In his proposed budget, Gov. Mike Dunleavy is budgeting for a check of about $3,000.
Since 1982, Alaskans have received a PFD check every year. The smallest payout was $331.29 in 1984. The highest was $2,072 in 2015, though, in 2008 the year’s $2,069 PFD check included an additional one-time payment of $1,200. A surplus of state natural resource revenues were distributed as the additional $1,200 when then Gov. Sarah Palin signed Senate Bill 4002.
This year, Alaskans 18 or older can participate in the Education Raffle, which gives them an option to donate money from their PFD to public education. Donations are made in $100 increments and for every $100, the applicant receives one entry into the Education Raffle. Half of the donation goes directly to public education that year and 25% of it goes into a new education endowment fund. The other 25% of the donation is used in the raffle fund. Each entry goes into a drawing which will take place sometime in January.
There are four prizes paid out annually. The first prize is 8% of the raffle fund. The second prize is 4% of the raffle fund and third prize is 2% of the raffle fund. The fourth and final prize is 1% of the raffle fund. The remaining 85% of the fund will grow the fund for future year prize money.
Residents can file for their PFD online at pfd.alaska.gov/ or through a paper application.
To be eligible for the PFD check, an applicant must have been an Alaska resident for an entire calendar year preceding the date they applied for a dividend and intend to stay in Alaska indefinitely. Applicants who wish to receive a PFD must also not claim residency in another state or country. Residents who are absent from Alaska for more than 180 days are also not eligible to receive a PFD check.