After taking the time to post about what was going wrong, it is only right and meet here to take the time to post acknowledgement of Upwork's having sorted this out correctly, and being in the process of making the OP financially whole.
Well done! Kudos where they are due, here!
This result will establish/reinforce trust in Upwork on the part of Freelancers who DO follow the rules/use the processes correctly.
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