It may have been called the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) but until this month it was in name only. 

Now the Western Australian and Federal governments have finally reached an agreement, the West is on track to join the NDIS from July 2018. The NDIS will then be rolled out progressively on a geographic basis across WA until mid-2020.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said "Western Australians with disability, as well as their families and carers, now have certainty on the future of the NDIS.

"Today's announcement shows the shared commitment by Australian Governments to the NDIS and is the final step towards making the NDIS a truly national scheme." 

Premier Mark McGowan said: "After careful deliberation, we have concluded that joining the national Scheme will provide the best foundation for Western Australians to benefit from the NDIS, now and into the future.”

Prior to the NDIS, state governments contracted disability and mental health service providers to deliver specific services. The person receiving support was often given a single provider, which meant they had little choice about who provided the care and support they needed.

The major change under the new system is that people with disabilities will receive a funding package based on their needs and will be able to choose between providers. The change also means that the scheme will be fully portable throughout Australia for those included in the scheme.

However, some people with mental health issues are finding it difficult to be accepted into the scheme.

The money will be attached to the individual, giving them control over what services and support programs they access.

As with elsewhere in Australia, it means agencies will lose their government contracts and have to compete to attract clients.