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What Is Upwork Payment Protection?

Community Manager
Lena E Community Manager Member Since: Apr 7, 2015
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Upwork Payment Protection helps provide security and peace of mind to clients and freelancers working together on both hourly and fixed-price projects.

Upwork Payment Protection consists of two sub-programs:

  • Upwork Hourly Protection for hourly contracts
  • Upwork Fixed-Price Protection for fixed-price contracts



Upwork Hourly Protection is pretty straightforward: clients pay for hours worked, and freelancers get paid for the time they spend working. This program uses the following features to ensure that, on hourly projects, an hour worked is an hour paid, and an hour paid is an hour worked.

  • Work Diary: Clients can check their freelancer’s Work Diary to verify that work was completed as invoiced.
  • Team App: Freelancers who track their time using the Upwork Team App are assured payment for hours worked.

Get more details about how Hourly Protection works for clients and for freelancers.

Please note that Upwork Hourly Protection doesn’t apply to bonuses, manual time, or fixed-price projects. See the Upwork User Agreement and Hourly Escrow Instructions for full terms and conditions.



Upwork Fixed-Price Protection uses escrow to help ensure that clients get the work they’ve contracted for and that freelancers get paid for the work they deliver.

For clients, this means using milestones to budget and set deadlines for work deliverables. When starting a fixed-price contract, the client makes a deposit into escrow to pre-fund the first milestone of work; for projects with multiple milestones, this process is repeated at the beginning of each stage.

Once a client has signed off on deliverables for a milestone, the payment is released to the contractor.

Get more details about how Fixed-Price Protection works for clients and for freelancers. See the Upwork User Agreement and Fixed-Price Escrow Instructions for full terms and conditions.