To help keep you protected when you make Upwork you’re home for work, we offer Hourly Protection. Hourly Protection is payment protection for freelancers and agencies that work and bill for hours that qualify.

Hourly Protection Qualifications

To qualify for Hourly Protection, you must:

  • Have an hourly contract
  • Work with a client who is using a verified billing method
  • Use an Upwork account in good standing
  • Log your hours with the Upwork Desktop App
  • Have contract-related activity in your Work Diary
  • Update your Work Diary with memos or activities labels that describe the activity performed
  • Maintain adequate and fair activity levels
  • Stay within the contract's weekly limit


The following cases do not qualify for payment protection

  • Time segments in the Work Diary that don’t meet all of the qualification criteria above. For example, we exclude segments that are:
    • Added manually
    • Idle or empty
    • Over the weekly limit
    • Showing the freelancer engaged in non-work-related activity
    • Missing memos or have inadequately described memos
  • Payment for anything other than qualifying hours, including:
    • Manual payments, including milestones, bonuses, and other one-time payments
    • Advanced recurring weekly payments not based on hours billed
    • Payments from clients who haven’t verified their billing method.
    • Freelancers or contracts in violation of the Upwork Terms of Service.
    • Instances in which you are aware of, or complicit in, another user's violation of the Upwork Terms of Service.
    • Instances in which you are involved in fraudulent activities or abuse of the Hourly Protection program.

Hourly Protection is subject to the terms and conditions outlined in the Upwork Terms of Service and Hourly Escrow Instructions.

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