If you are working with a client and they become unresponsive for a long period of time, it may be best to stop working on the project and wait for contact from the client. In some cases, you may also reach out to Upwork to contact the client on your behalf.
On an hourly contract, it may be best to end your contract with an unresponsive client. Already-logged hours will be invoiced as usual, but no further payment should be expected on the ended contract. Even if your client fails to pay you for the hours invoiced, you will still be paid if you are eligible for Upwork Hourly Protection.
On a fixed-price contract, ending the contract forfeits any funds remaining in escrow. Instead, it is often best to complete your last milestone before you end the contract. If your client fails to respond to your submission, funds will be automatically released after 14 days. If they respond but refuse the work and you believe you have completed the work according to the agreed terms, you have the option to file a dispute.
Often freelancers wait for their clients to end a contract so they will leave feedback and make any final payments. However, if you end your contract with an unresponsive client and they don’t leave feedback, it won’t affect your Job Success Score unless you have a high percentage of contracts that are missing feedback.
Fixed-price contracts are covered by Upwork Fixed-Price Protection. If you submitted work, the funds in escrow will be released to you after 14 days if the client does not take any action. Upwork Fixed-Price Protection only covers funds in escrow (milestone) and not the entire project.