The minister for disabled people and Tory MP for Wirral West, Esther McVey, said changes to the benefit system are about "understanding disability in the 21st century" and adapting a system which will work better in the future.
The MP said the new scheme is not aimed at saving money.
- The personal independence payment scheme is being introduced for people with a health condition or disability aged 16 to 64.
- From today, it will be introduced for new claims in Merseyside, North West England, Cumbria, Cheshire and North East England. It will be rolled out nationally from June.
- Currently, there are no current plans to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children under 16 and people aged 65 and over who are already receiving it.
- Some people may require an assessment to work out the level of help needed.
- Most people currently getting DLA will not by affected by the change until 2015, according to the government.