(Updated: October 14, 2009 at 4:38 PM CT)

President Barack Obama said Wednesday he is asking Congress to authorize a second $250 economic recovery payment for people with disabilities, seniors and veterans, which would be distributed in 2010.

Earlier this year the government provided a similar one-time $250 payment as part of the economic stimulus plan. Now, Obama says a second payment is needed to help those hardest hit by the recession.

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“Even as we seek to bring about recovery, we must act on behalf of those hardest hit by this recession,” Obama said Wednesday. “That is why I am announcing my support for an additional $250 in emergency recovery assistance to seniors, veterans and people with disabilities to help them make it through these difficult times.”

If the proposal is approved by Congress, 57 million Americans — including 5 million Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries — would receive a one-time payment of $250 at a total cost of $13 billion.

It is unclear when such a payment could be distributed, but if approved, senior White House officials say they expect the payments would go out sometime in 2010, noting that it would not be left to the end of the year.

Obama’s comments come ahead of an announcement expected Thursday from the Social Security Administration that there will not be any cost of living increase (COLA) for 2010. By law, Social Security benefits are required to increase with inflation, but this year inflation declined so 2010 benefits will remain steady.

Most provisions of the economic recovery act passed in February extended for two years. The one-time $250 payments are among a handful of “very successful” elements that only lasted one year, which Obama is now seeking to extend in order to “provide temporary, essential help to people” in light of the still troubled economy, senior administration officials say.

“The president has no doubt that people continue to face extreme hardship,” a senior administration official said. “This is designed to prevent the worst scenario.”

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