Alaskans’ PFD checks in the bank Thursday

Most Alaskans are $1,174 richer today (Thursday).

Permanent Fund Dividends are now in the bank accounts of 535,000 Alaskans, who checked the “direct deposit” box on their 2011 PFD application. Ninety-three-thousand paper checks also go in the U.S. mail today.

The total 2011 distribution is more than $760.22-million, distributed among 647,549 eligible Alaskans. Statutes require a year residency in Alaska to be eligible, with the intent to remain in the state indefinitely at the time of the dividend application.

According to the state Revenue Department, 676,000 Alaskans applied for this year’s dividend, a one percent increase over 2010. Hundreds of PFD applications are still pending, and they will be paid when the applicants are determined to be eligible.

This is the 30th Permanent Fund Dividend. The first check was $1,000 in 1982. The Revenue Department estimates $19-billion dollars have been paid out to Alaskans since then. That includes the 2008 Resource Rebate of $1,200.