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Crime Scene Cleanup

by Nathan Zachary

Compensation payment may be available to cover expenses for professional crime scene cleanup services and materials.

If your application is approved, we will work with you to determine which crime scene cleanup expenses are eligible for compensation.


Crime scene cleaning means removing, or attempting to remove, stains, odors, broken glass, or any other objects or impurities caused by crime or crime scene processing.

Expenses to clean up the crime scene can include:

  • Professional cleaning services
  • Materials to clean


Persons who incur expenses to clean up crime scenes may be eligible for compensation payments. If more than one person pays the cost of cleaning up the crime scene, they can be paid pro rata.


The compensation payment is limited to $2,250 for crimes that occurred after July 14, 2016. For crimes that occurred before this date, other limits apply.

By law, CVC is the last source of payment. All other sources that are immediately available must be used to pay before the CVC program begins to pay compensation. Learn more about the payment sources in Covered Expenses.


While your application is being processed, you should be prepared to provide copies of:

  • Bills or receipts for services from professional cleaning companies
  • Itemized expenses for materials with an explanation of the services provided
  • Verification of homeowner’s or renter’s insurance
  • CVC will tell you what documentation you must mail to CVC and when to do so.


In order to pay the service provider, an invoice must be submitted detailing the services provided. The victim or claimant should use available collateral sources (homeowners/renters insurance).

To pay directly to the supplier, it is necessary to provide CVC with a valid tax number. The crime scene cleanup compensation payment is limited to $2,250 for crimes that occurred after July 14, 2016. For crimes that occurred before this date, other limits apply.

How much does crime scene cleanup cost?

Any damage to a home caused by homicide or suicide must be covered by the homeowner’s insurance. But if you live in an apartment, you’re not covered at all. Cleaning can be quite expensive and can range from about $2,500 to $25,000.

The severity of the scene will add to the cost, Baruchin said.

“A shotgun suicide, or let’s say a week to 10 days of unattended death or what we call a clean decomposition, is usually going to be a lot more than, say, a gun homicide, or something like that,” he said, and He added that cost is typically driven by two things: labor and personal protective equipment. Costs for costumes, masks and disposal must be covered. Items collected from a scene must be incinerated and comply with state and federal regulations.

What if you want to clean it yourself?

Bachurin would not recommend.

“People sometimes try to fix this on their own, which is too traumatic,” he told us. “It is one thing for us to do it. We have a certain degree of separation, but whether it’s someone you know or a friend is another thing.’

But if you really can’t afford it and it’s your only option, he said it can be done. If you do it on your own, you don’t have to follow any regulations.

“As an individual, you can basically do whatever you want,” Bachurin said. “You can clean it up and throw it away. We can’t do that as a company.’

He said that doing a little research online will teach you everything you need to know.

You would need disposable masks, gloves and coveralls. Be sure to use tools that help you find out where the blood is. If a blanket or bed is contaminated, throw it away. Items that are not thick can be cleaned. Hardwood floors can be lifted and pulled.

How do professionals clean?

Bachurin said that he does not use luminol or black light to locate human fluids. Instead, his team uses a very strong hydrogen peroxide-based product that will foam if blood is present. He said his team also uses hospital-grade disinfectants, which should kill 99.9 percent of all bloodborne pathogens, including HIV and hepatitis C.

What kind of person does this job?

The best candidates are the people who can really handle it, Bachurin said. He said several retired police personnel and a trained funeral director work for him. In addition to having a hard stomach, you also need a soft heart.

“You have to have a good stomach for it, a lot of empathy and patience to deal with situations like this,” Bachurin said. ‘A lot of the things we can do help people get through some really hard stuff.’ He added: ‘There are morbidly curious people who call and say it looks like great work. Honestly, it’s the opposite.’

Who should you contact if you need cleaning services?

Bachurin calls the crime scene cleanup industry a Wild West. It is not a huge industry and it is not regulated.

“There are only a few certifications that you need to do it and only a few rules that you have to follow,” he said. “Each company does it a little differently. Some have a bit more reputation than others.’


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