Pay now and pay later

Developed by corporate giant Deloitte at an initial cost of $115 million, the ASPEN system was intended to streamline New Mexico’s processing of benefits for its poorest residents. But it has repeatedly failed them, cutting off tens of thousands of children and families from their financial lifeline.

Many grandparents raising kids locked out of state aid

The number of children being raised by grandparents has exploded across New Mexico, nearly doubling to more than 55,000 — 10 percent of all the state’s children — since 1990. But many of those grandparents have found themselves denied assistance, often even when they meet eligibility requirements.