Dispute a Client’s Failure to Release a Milestone Payment

Upwork Fixed-Price Protection allows freelancers to file disputes under two circumstances:

  • A client ends the job with an escrow balance.
  • A client fails to release a milestone payment despite delivery of work.

To file a dispute on an ended contract:

  1. Go to My Jobs and click on View Request in the Ended Contracts.
  2. Choose Do Not Approve and click Next.
  3. Specify a reason for the dispute and give details to support your claim that the work is complete and payment due. Explain the situation so the dispute specialist understands your claim.
  4. Click Continue and review what it means to initiate a dispute. If you agree, click Continue to Dispute.

Alternatively, to approve a return of escrow funds to your client:

  1. Go to My Jobs and click on View Request in the Ended Contracts.
  2. Choose I Approve and click Next.
  3. The escrowed funds will be returned to your client immediately.

To file a dispute on active contract:

  1. Submit a request by clicking here.
  2. Give details to support your claim that the work is complete and payment due. Explain the situation so the dispute specialist understands your claim.
  3. The agent will open a case with a dispute specialist to review your situation.

Mediation

Under Upwork Fixed-Price Protection, disputes enter a mediation process with an Upwork dispute specialist. If your client fails to respond to your dispute within seven days, it will automatically be resolved in your favor and all funds will be released to you.

Users can usually come to an agreement among themselves, but if the parties are unable to agree in a reasonable period of time, the dispute specialist will make a non-binding recommendation. If that recommendation is rejected, the final option is to proceed to arbitration. See the Upwork Escrow Fixed-Price Instructions for more details, including the Escrow Dispute Assistance Policy.


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