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Upwork takes way too long to pay! and it makes no sense in 2023

Hello fellow Upwork freelancers,

I want to address a pressing concern that many of us have encountered on the platform, particularly in 2023 - the prolonged payment processing time. Upwork has implemented a 5-day security period for all transactions, which significantly impacts the time it takes for us to receive payments for our hard-earned work.

While Upwork mentions that this security period is for "safety and security reasons," it's crucial for us to seek transparency and efficiency in this process. Here's a breakdown of the current payment timeline, as per Upwork's explanation:

  1. Logging Time: The first week is when you log time on an hourly contract, which ends every Sunday.

  2. Client Review: The client then has 5 days to review and/or dispute any hours logged on the Work Diary.

  3. Payment Processing: If there are no issues with the hours logged, the payment for the contract will then go through a 5-day security period before it becomes available in your account.

This means that in the best-case scenario, it takes approximately 10 days for payments to be processed. This timeline can be frustrating for freelancers who rely on timely compensation for their work.

Here are some points to consider when discussing this issue:

1. Transparency: We need clearer communication from Upwork regarding why this 10-day period is necessary for "safety and security reasons." Understanding the rationale behind this delay would help alleviate some frustration.

2. Efficiency: In an era where fast and secure payment options are readily available, can Upwork explore ways to expedite this process without compromising security?

3. Freelancer Needs: Freelancers often rely on their earnings to cover essential expenses. Upwork should consider the financial well-being of its freelancers and strive for quicker disbursements.

4. Alternatives: Are there alternative payment methods or systems that can be explored to improve the payment processing time while maintaining security?

5. Client Responsiveness: Encourage clients to review and approve hours promptly to expedite the payment process for freelancers.

Let's use this forum to discuss our experiences, suggestions, and possible solutions to this issue. It's essential for us to work together as a community and engage with Upwork to ensure our voices are heard and our concerns are addressed.

Please share your thoughts, experiences, and any insights you might have on this matter. Together, we can advocate for a more efficient payment process on Upwork in 2023 and beyond.


Hi Shane, Thanks for sharing your feedback and concerns.  We’re taking the issue you raised seriously. We understand how frustrating it can be when things don't work as expected, so we've gone ahead and converted your post to a support ticket. This means that one of our knowledgeable agents will be in touch with you shortly to provide the help you need. We appreciate you reaching out to us and sharing your concerns with the community.


Here's the ticket link that you can monitor for updates.  I appreciate your patience in the meantime.  


~ Ruth
Community Member

Shane, it only takes 5 days on Upwork to receive your money (for Top Rated freelancers). It takes 30 days to receive a payment on your invoice outside of Upwork. Pretty good deal in my opinion.  

Community Member

You might be right on that Anna, but if you have used an e-commerce platform like eBay for example, although the markets and strategy might be different, the seller receives his payment as soon as he finishes his sale, and the buyer receives his product fast (at least on digital goods). also, none of the bidders gets charged a dime for that.


Like I said in another post, Upwork makes good money per contract, sometimes even more than the value of the contract itself, every participant involved in a contract in Upwork is paying something, so we expect a secure and smooth experience.


Here on Upwork you don’t get your money fast even in fixed price contracts, when Upwork already has your money in escrow and the employer has already accepted the job and ended the contract in good terms.

You don't sell a ready-to-use product on Upwork. You are working on custom solutions for each individual clients, aka you are not working on eBay/Shopify model. So why expecting the same payment structures?

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