When it comes to getting money, some people will do just about anything, even marry their relatives. Take 25-year-old Mauricio Ossola, from Argentina, who last year married his 91-year-old great-aunt, so he could collect a widower’s pension after she died.
Mauricio moved in with his great aunt Yolanda, in the city of Salta, north-west Argentina, eight years ago, after his parents split up. He, his mother, her brother and his grandmother shared a home with the elderly woman in the neighborhood of Tres Cerritos, and apparently got along very well. So well, in fact, that two years ago Yolanda agreed to marry Mauricio so that he could collect a widower’s pension after she was gone. The then 23-year-old had told the woman that he planned to quit his law studies due to financial constraints , and she assured him that she would do everything she can to make sure he graduates. The young man recently admitted to reporters that he was the one who proposed they get married, and that she accepted. They tied the knot in February of 2015, in what he describes as a “discreet civil ceremony”.
Photo: Mauricio Ossola
“I said to Yolanda after the separation of my parents: ‘Look Ulita, I’m going to have to abandon my studies’. Those were the circumstances that led to us getting married,” Mauricio said. “Yolanda insisted I had to finish my studies. She would say to me, ‘I’m going to help you because you always take care of me, you go with me to the doctor’s and you’re always helping me with my problems’. After some time had gone by, I asked her what she would think if I asked her to marry me.”
14 months after the bizarre union, Yolanda passed away from sepsis, and Mauricio soon applied for a widower’s pension, to fulfill his late wife’s/great-aunt’s wish. Unfortunately, things did not got as smoothly as he had hoped, as social services denied his request after the 91-year-old woman’s neighbors told them that they knew nothing about the marriage. However, Ossola insists that his union to his great-aunt was perfectly legal and he will fight the decision to reject his application for the pension even if he has to go all the way to Argentina’s Supreme Court.
“Next to our house they’ve built a block where I know no one at all. What could these neighbors know about us and our discreet civil marriage,” the young widower commented on the motivation provided by social services. “If I have to go all the way to the Supreme Court I will because the rejection of my petition is totally unfounded.”
“I loved Yolanda in the purest way you can love someone and that feeling, along with the pain her loss caused me, will remain with me for the rest of my life,” Mauricio added. “When I began to apply for the pension I presented all the necessary paperwork and complied with all the legal requirements. Yolanda might have been over 90 but she was extremely lucid.”
Surprisingly, reactions to Mauricio Ossola’s attempt to get his hands on a widower’s pension have been mixed. While some people accuse him of being an opportunist, other applaud him for being intelligent enough to fool the system.
Photo: Janos Korom
“It’s obvious his late wife knew nothing about the law and was convinced by this relative,” Rony Romarr commented. “Thanks to people like him widowers who really do need the money then find their applications held up.”
On the other hand, Garcia Conny wrote: “Well done to him. He’s not an opportunist. He’s simply being intelligent and taking advantage of money she worked all her life for.”