Michigan man says his dog was approved for unemployment - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Michigan man says his dog was approved for unemployment

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WZZM13 WZZM13
Saugatuck, Mich. -

It’s not always easy to find work. Just ask Ryder - he was apparently laid off from his job at a restaurant chain in Michigan. So the state approved him for unemployment benefits. There's just one problem: He’s a German shepherd.

Michael Haddock, an attorney in Saugatuck, says he received a letter from the State of Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency, addressed to Michael Ryder. Ryder is his dog.

Haddock posted a picture on Facebook this past weekend after he got the letter. In it, he said his dog qualifies for $360 dollars every week. “Not sure what he is going to do with the money, but it should be interesting. I knew he was clever, but he surprised me this time,” Haddock writes. 

Haddock says the employer listed on the letter was a restaurant chain in Metro Detroit.

WZZM 13 reports that Tuesday, the Michigan UIA announced it was creating a special investigative unit, to handle the recent increase in fake claims. The agency hopes to catch the thieves before any money is doled out.

As for Haddock, he isn't sure if “Michael Ryder” is even a real person. If it is, he says it is certainly a coincidence.

The UIA tells WZZM 13 that its computer system did send out the initial letter to Haddock's address. However, it was flagged as suspicious during the next step in the unemployment process. The agency has since sent another letter to Haddock's address denying the claim. In light of the situation, the UIA says it got a laugh out of Ryder's claim and Haddock's story. In an email, the investigator says, "Unfortunately, Michael Ryder’s claim will not be allowed. I know first-hand it is rare for 'man’s best friend' to contribute financially to the household and that will continue in this instance," says Tim Kolar, State Administrator of Investigations, UIA.

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