Wearsiders among the first to get new disability payments

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DISABLED benefit claimants in the North East will be among the first to receive the Government’s new personal independence payment (pip).

Ministers are scrapping the disability living allowance handout for two million people of working age, and replacing it with the pip.

That will involve an individual assessment in a bid to cut down on overpayments.

But amid wrangling as the Welfare Reform Bill went through Parliament earlier this year, the Department of Work and Pensions agreed to stagger its introduction.

Disabled People Minister Maria Miller said: “To ensure a smooth introduction, the launch will be undertaken through a phased approach, commencing initially with a subset of new claimants,”

In a written Commons statement, she said the Bootle Benefit Centre would administer the first new claims from next spring for recipients in Merseyside, the North West, Cumbria, Cheshire and the North East.