Can giving $250 to 57 million seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities help ease the pains of the recession? Obama urged Congress to approve a one-time payment to Social Security recipients as a way of helping "those hardest hit by this recession." Because Social Security increases are pegged to inflation, which was negative this year, this would be the first time since 1975 that recipients have not received a cost of living increase. Predictably, seniors' groups welcomed the proposal, which would amount to about 2 percent of the benefits of an average Social Security retiree, while Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) called the program "inappropriate." Obama said the program, which would cost $13 million, would not further erode Social Security's finances, although he did not offer alternatives to finance the program.