Rest homes struggling to pay higher wages under a landmark pay equity deal need $10 million to help stay afloat, their industry group says.
Tens of thousands of aged-care and disability workers got a hefty wage rise on Saturday as the $2 billion settlement took effect.
Aged Care Association chief executive Simon Wallace said about 100 rest homes were struggling to pay the increased wages.
Smaller rest homes and those in rural areas were particularly hard hit.
Mr Wallace said the association had warned the government this may happen, and some rest homes would need short-term financial assistance while they adjusted.
"The impact of all this could mean that some rest homes would close.
"It could mean that staff would be made redundant - and that's proving to be the case.
"So what we need to do now is we need to work with the government on some sort of transitional relief package to help these rest homes through the next six to 12 months."
Mr Wallace said in some cases as little as $100,000 would be enough to make a crucial difference.