The final date for filing for this year’s Permanent Fund dividend for Alaska residents is approaching quickly, less than a week away, on March 31.
According to the PFD division’s website, more than 530,000 Alaskans had filed for their PFD as of March, a little less than three quarters of the state’s population.
“As of March 22, 2022, the Division has received 531,695 web applications. This is compared to 540,789 web applications received through the same date in 2021,” said PFD division director Anna MacKinnon in an email. “However, the Division has also received over 10,000 more web applications in the last 10-day period than compared to the same period in 2021.”
Gov. Mike Dunleavy recently called for a $3,700 PFD, reflecting high oil prices in recent months, the Empire previously reported.
“We can afford, I repeat, we can afford a much higher PFD than people are contemplating,” Dunleavy said during a news conference last week.
A $3,700 payout would be higher than any PFD on record. In contrast, the 2020 PFD was $992. The House majority has proposed a $1,300 payment termed an “energy relief check.” This would be in addition to the proposed PFD of $1,250 dollars, for a total of $2,550. The budget process is still ongoing and a final decision hasn’t been made.
Alaskans who file electronically for a direct deposit payment will be paid in the first payment run in October, a change made in 2019, according to the Permanent Fund Dividend Division’s website. More than 21,000 Alaskans had donated more than $2.6 million to the Pick.Click.Give campaign as part of their filing, MacKinnon said.
According to the PFD division’s website, more than $26 billion dollars have been disbursed for the PFD in the program’s history. Most of the dividends in the last 10 years have disbursed between $550 million and $1.32 billion dollars from the Permanent Fund, with the most expensive being $1.33 billion for 2015’s $2,072-per-head payout.
According to the PFD Division, the last five years have seen between 630,000 and 640,000 Alaskans successfully file for a PFD. If 640,000 Alaskans receive a PFD this year at the governor’s proposed $3,700, this year’s PFD payouts will total just over $2.36 billion. Conversely, if the House majority’s proposal, the PFD and energy relief check together will run slightly more than $1.63 billion. Of that total, about half — $832 million would go toward the PFD — the rest would go to relief checks.
Either number — $2.36 billion or $1.33 billion — would be the most expensive PFD disbursement in the state’s history, according the history of payments.
People can apply for the PFD online at pfd.alaska.gov.
• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or firstname.lastname@example.org.