Nearly $600 million was paid to Alaskans Wednesday as Permanent Fund Dividends were distributed early this year in an effort to bring relief to people struggling economically due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
PFD checks are usually sent out in October but Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced in May payments would be going out early in an effort to bring relief to people struggling economically because of the coronavirus pandemic.
On Wednesday, 596,971 Alaskans received their payments, according to Genevieve Wojtusik, legislative liaison for the Department of Revenue, totaling $592,360,237.82.
She said 90% of eligible Alaskans received their payments, and of that group just under 90% were paid electronically.
The Alaska Permanent Fund, from which the dividend is paid, makes most of its money through investments was hit hard along with the rest of the world’s economy when countries began enforcing lockdowns and quarantines.
Before the pandemic, the Fund had roughly $67.9 billion but as of May 31, the latest date reported by the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation, the Fund was worth $63.7 billion.
The state is able to draw a limited amount funds for state services each year from a portion of the fund called the Earnings Reserve Account, which according to the APFC is worth $17.6 billion.
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