Michigan man says his dog was approved for unemployment benefits

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SAUGATUCK, Mich. – A Michigan man says he received a letter notifying him that the family dog had been approved for state unemployment benefits.

Michael Haddock joked to WZZM that his German shepherd Ryder is currently out of work, saying “I understand he was let go from his last position in Rochester Hills, Michigan.”

Haddock said he received a letter from Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency notifying him that a “Michael Ryder” was approved for $360 a week in benefits. The employer cited in the letter was a Detroit-area restaurant chain. Haddock wrote on Facebook:

So my dog Ryder gets approved for unemployment benefits of 360 per week. I call the state and get a voice mail they are busy, call back. Not sure what he is going to do with the money but should be interesting. I knew he was clever but he surprised me on this one.

The Saugatuck father said he has no idea how scammers got his dog’s name, but, after calling UIA, Haddock says the agency’s system flagged the claim and sent a second letter denying the benefits.

State Administrator of Investigations Tim Kolar told WZZM in a statement:

“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.”

It’s not the first time that Michigan’s UIA has made headlines. The agency announced in August, 2017 that it would be reversing 44,000 jobless fraud cases and refunding $21M after its computer system mistakenly accused people of stealing unemployment monies.

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