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Faster Payouts on Upwork and Who Gets Them

Faster Payouts on Upwork
Elvira Strinosa
Written by Elvira Strinosa

Upwork shared breaking news yesterday regarding faster payouts. It’s a change that many freelancers feel couldn’t come soon enough thanks to COVID-19. But how fast will those new payouts be, and who is eligible for them? In this article, I’ll walk you through it.

How Fast Are Faster Payouts on Upwork?

Before we answer that, we have to partially answer the question about who is eligible. According to Upwork’s announcement, faster payouts are for hourly contracts only. Fixed-priced contracts do not receive faster payouts.

Under the old payout system, hourly contracts were required to wait 10 days before payouts were approved. With this update, some freelancers will have that time cut in half. In other words, the new system pays out in just five days.



Upwork says faster payouts are possible because they are eliminating the security hold on payouts from their end. They later note that there is an increased risk of fraud (for Upwork) so they’re testing this with certain segments of the freelance population first.

So Who is Eligible for Faster Payouts?

As stated above, not all freelancers will enjoy faster pay. If you are a fixed-price worker, then this isn’t for you. Your waiting period will be the same as it always was for now.

To be eligible for faster payouts you have to be a Top-Rated freelancer or an agency.
To be eligible for faster payouts you have to be an hourly worker with Top-Rated status or you have to be an agency. Freelancers who are not top-rated are not eligible for faster payouts regardless of the type of contracts you work on.

According to Upwork’s announcement, they may continue this change for all freelancers later on but are testing it with Top-Rated freelancers and agencies first to avoid problems with fraud and scams.

What Happens If I’m Not Top-Rated Yet?

Those who are not Top-Rated and who become Top-Rated after this change takes effect will instantly be upgraded. As soon as you earn Top-Rated status you will become eligible to get paid in just five days.

What Happens If I Lose Top-Rated Status?

If you happen to drop out of Top-Rated status while you are currently receiving faster payouts, your account will be downgraded and you will return to the slower 10-day waiting period.

Is This Update Just for COVID-19?

Upwork says the change is partially the result of COVID-19, but will continue even after the pandemic subsides. As of now, it appears Upwork will not reverse this change unless they experience too many problems with fraud.

How Does This Change Things For You?

What do you think about these updates? Will they make a big difference for you? Let us know your thoughts in a comment below!

About the author

Elvira Strinosa

Elvira Strinosa

Elvira is an Assistant Editor and News Writer for Notorious [F]. She has served in various freelance positions over the past four years including copyeditor, copywriter, and content writer. When she isn't writing, or editing, she spends her time reading sappy romance novels and taking long walks outdoors.

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