Michigan dog approved for unemployment benefits

By Ray Downs
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Jan. 31 (UPI) -- In a mix-up at the Michigan unemployment office, a dog was approved for unemployment benefits.

Attorney Michael Haddock told WZZM-TV this week that he received a notice from the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency in the mail that said "Michael Ryder" will receive $360 a week.


But there is nobody named "Michael Ryder" at Haddock's address. "Ryder," however, is the name of Haddock's German Shepherd and Michael is his first name. So Haddock assumed the notice was for his dog.

"Not sure what he is going to do with the money, but it should be interesting," Haddock said. "I knew he was clever, but he surprised me this time."

Unfortunately for Ryder, he won't get a chance to cash those checks after the UIA got word of the mix-up.

"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," said Tim Kolar, the state administrator of investigations at the UIA.

Chris DeWitt, the spokesman for the Talent Investment Agency, which is a division of the UIA, told the Detroit Free Press that the supposed mix-up could be an example of fraud.


"It's important to note that no money was paid out,'' DeWitt said. "Criminals get a hold of people's personal information like name, address and Social Security numbers and file a false claim. This is a crime."

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