On Upwork, you can get paid for doing what you’re passionate about. With fixed-price contracts, you’ll get paid after you submit your work. Here is how it works and when to expect your payments.

Pro tip:

You can follow this process on your Reports dashboard by going to Reports > Overview.

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1. Start securely with escrow: see funds in Work in progress

To help ensure that your payments for fixed-price contracts are dependable and secure, clients must place funds into escrow for each milestone and project or consultation purchase.

If the client has a verified billing method, funds in escrow may be protected by Upwork Fixed-Price Protection. Learn more about eligibility for protection and how Upwork Fixed-Price Protection can help you.

You’ll see funds that are in escrow in the Work in progress section of Reports > Overview.

2. Submit work: funds move to In review

When you submit a milestone deliverable directly from your contract, you’re also requesting to be paid by selecting Submit work, then Submit. You can find your contract by going to My Jobs > My Jobs.

If you submit deliverables through another method, such as email or in Upwork Messages, be sure to request payment by selecting Submit work, then Submit in the contract. This starts the 14-day review process. You don’t have to upload the work again, but you may want to include a message to your client.

Once you submit your deliverables and request payment, funds move to the In review section of Reports > Overview.

Submit a milestone:

Submit a project deliverable:

3. Client reviews: funds stay in In review until your client approves or rejects the work, asks for changes, or the 14-day review period ends

After you submit work, your client has 14 days to review it. During this time, they may:

  • Ask you to make changes. When you make changes and resubmit the work, the 14-day review period starts over
  • Approve the work and direct us to release the payment from escrow to your pending payments. They can ask us to release the full amount, a partial amount, or more than what they deposited in escrow
  • Reject the work and request an escrow refund, which you’ll have the option to approve or dispute. Learn more about disputing non-release of a milestone payment
  • Do nothing. If your client does not take any action, we’ll automatically release funds from escrow to your pending payments after the 14-day review period ends

Where the funds show on your Reports dashboard during and after review:

  • During the 14-day review period, funds show in the In review section
  • If your client requests changes, funds move back to Work in progress
  • When your client approves, or the 14-day review period ends with no client action, funds move to the Pending section for a five-day security period
4. Five-day security period: funds move to Pending

Once your client directs us to release payment to you, or the 14-day client review period ends, the five-day security period begins. This security period applies to bonus payments too.

During this time, you’ll see the funds in the Pending section of your Reports dashboard.

When the five-day security period ends, your funds move into the Available section of your Reports dashboard.

5. Withdraw your payment: See funds in Available

For your convenience, you can withdraw payments from your available funds on our platform in several ways:

  • Select Available on your Reports dashboard and then select Get Paid Now
  • On your Upwork home page, select Get Paid from the sidebar and then select Get Paid Now
  • Set up automatic withdrawals. We will automatically send your available funds to your withdrawal method on the schedule you select

Learn more about setting up your payment method or automatic withdrawals.

Processing time

The time it takes for your payments to show up in your withdrawal method varies depending on the withdrawal method you choose. It can take up to eight business days. If you haven’t received your funds in eight business days, please let us know.

If you’re a U.S. freelancer with a debit card on file, you may be eligible for Instant Pay. This lets you withdraw payments from available funds directly to your debit card after the five-day security hold. This can speed up the process of getting your payments but does not let you skip the security period. We charge a $2 fee for these transactions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to get paid for fixed-price contracts?

The timing depends on when you submit work and how quickly your client reviews it. After you submit a milestone, a client has 14 days to approve, reject, or request changes.

After your client releases your funds, we have a five-day security hold. Then, funds moved between Upwork and your personal account are subject to processing time. Processing time can vary depending on your withdrawal method but can take up to 8 days.

You can follow this process on your contracts by going to Reports > Overview.

How do I submit deliverables and request to be paid?

To submit your work for review:

  1. Go to My Jobs > My Jobs
  2. Find the contact you wish to submit a deliverable on and select Submit work
  3. Write a brief message to your client to explain what you’re submitting
  4. Upload your deliverable, if you haven’t already sent it through another method, and select Submit. (If you already sent the work to the client through another method, you do not have to upload it again, just select Submit)

If you submit deliverables to your client through another method, such as email or directly through Upwork Messages, be sure to request payment by selecting Submit Work and Submit in the contract. This starts the 14-day review.

When can I withdraw a released payment?

When your client releases a milestone or final payment on a fixed-price job, it immediately shows as pending in your Upwork available balance. Your pending payments become available after a five-day security period.

Where can I check my pending and available payments?

To check your pending and available payments, go to Reports > Overview. You can also see available payments by selecting Get Paid on your Upwork Home page.

Why is there a five-day security hold on payments?

There is inherent risk in payment processing, driven by the potential for fraud, disputes and chargebacks. The five-day security period is designed to help reduce that risk for everyone involved and is part of maintaining a secure payment platform.

When will I receive the funds that I withdraw from Upwork?

When your payment arrives depends on your withdrawal method, but it can take up to eight business days. If you haven't received your payment after eight business days, let us know.

If you’re a U.S. freelancer with a debit card on file, you may be eligible for Instant Pay. This lets you withdraw payments from available funds directly to your debit card after the five-day security hold. This can speed up the process of getting your payments but does not let you skip the security period. We charge a $2 fee for these transactions.

How do I get paid as an agency freelancer?

All of your contracts are paid to your agency. You’ll need to arrange payment from your agency directly.

I qualify for faster payments. It's Friday, and I don't see the funds for my fixed-price contracts in my available payments. Why?

Fixed-price contracts do not qualify for faster payments that skip the five-day security period. If you have both hourly and fixed-price contracts, only the payments for your hourly contracts are included in faster payments when eligible.

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