The North East is part of a pilot for a change to the disability benefit. New claimants will receive Personal Independence Payment instead of the current Disability Living Allowance.
The government says the old system is "outdated", but some say the change will cause unnecessary worrying for those who rely on the benefit.
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A Stockton man who threatened to kill Muslim people in an online rant after the London Bridge terror attacks has been jailed for 20 months.
South Shields-born Sir Ridley Scott paid tribute to his former teachers at Hartlepool College of Art in his acceptance speech.
From March 1, the paper £10 note will cease to be legal tender - replaced completely by the polymer version.