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What is Elance Escrow Payment Protection for Freelancers?

Elance Escrow Payment Protection helps ensure funds are available prior to Freelancers starting work. With Elance Escrow Payment Protection, job Milestones are set and funded by the Client using Elance Escrow. If Terms and job Milestones are met, payment to the Freelancer is secure.

Created for Fixed Price jobs, Elance Escrow Payment Protection lets Freelancers start work with the confidence that funds are available in Escrow. Click here to learn how Elance Escrow can help you manage your Fixed Price jobs.

In the event of a dispute over the work and release of Escrow payments, Elance will assist both parties in trying to find a resolution before funds are released to either party.

Are you a Client hiring on Elance? Click here to find out how Elance Escrow Protection can work for you!

What types of jobs qualify for Elance Escrow Payment Protection?

Elance Escrow Protection is only available for Fixed Price jobs. Once a job is awarded, the Client and Freelancer define and agree upon Milestones, and funds are then placed into Escrow.

How does Elance Escrow Payment Protection work?

  • Clients award the job to their preferred Freelancer and both parties agree to Terms and Milestones for the job. For most projects, setting up multiple Milestones is recommended. Need help on setting up Milestones? Click here for more information.

  • If more than one Milestone is set for the job, Freelancers request the Client fund Escrow for the first Milestone at a minimum. Clients can opt to fund escrow for all Milestones when a project begins, though this is not required.

  • Freelancers should NOT begin work on any Milestone until Escrow is funded for that specific Milestone to ensure they are protected.

Receive Payment for Completed Milestones

  • The Freelancer will submit status reports when a Milestone has been completed. If the Client is satisfied with the work, they should release the funds in Escrow for the completed Milestone.

  • If the Client is not satisfied with the services from the Freelancer or if they did not meet the requirements of the Job Agreement, Clients can decline to release Escrow and make payment. Should this occur, Elance encourages both parties to directly communicate and discuss adjusting the Terms of the job.

  • If both parties cannot come to a resolution, Elance offers free Dispute Assistance as part of Elance Escrow Payment Protection. Either party can request Dispute Assistance from the project Workroom, and Elance will schedule and moderate a discussion, so Clients and Freelancers can come to a mutually agreeable resolution regarding the release of funds held in Escrow. To request Dispute Assistance, click here.

With Elance Escrow Payment Protection, the Freelancer is assured funds are available. If Terms and Milestones are met, Elance will honor payment should the Client decline to release payment. See below for examples of payments that do not qualify for Elance Escrow Payment Protection.

What payments are covered by Elance Escrow Payment Protection?

Only Milestones agreed to by both the Client and Freelancer, AND funded by the Client qualify for Elance Escrow Payment Protection.

What payments are not covered by Elance Escrow Payment Protection?

The following payments ARE NOT covered by Elance Escrow Payment Protection:

  • Miscellaneous and Bonus payments

  • Refunds

  • Milestones without a description/note of deliverables (ex. a Milestone noted as "deposit" would not qualify for Elance Escrow Payment Protection)

  • Pending payments, uncollectible payments, and payments for which funds are irretrievable due to a Client chargeback or voided payment method

  • Payments where Elance suspects fraud

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