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Saugatuck man says his dog qualifies for unemployment

By Sarah Sell/WZZM-TV • Jan 31, 2018 at 5:30 PM

SAUGATUCK — Fake unemployment claims are on the rise and a West Michigan man says it’s also hitting his “extended” family. By that, he means, his dog.

Michael Haddock, an attorney in Saugatuck, says he received a letter that appears to be from the State of Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency. It’s addressed to Michael Ryder.

Ryder is his dog.

"I got a letter from the UIA on Saturday, my name is Michael, my dog is Ryder. I was surprised to see it, but I had a good laugh, actually," Haddock said.

Haddock posted the picture on Facebook this past weekend, after he got the notification. In it, he said his dog qualifies for $360 every week.

“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.”

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

On 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 doesn’t know if the claim was really approved or if “Michael Ryder” is even a real person. If it is, he says it is certainly a coincidence.

WZZM-TV has reached out to the UIA to see what it knows about the fake claim.

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