Personal Property Questions & Answers

What Can I Do with Someone Else’s Property that the Disaster Carried onto My Land?

It depends upon what the property is. A birth certificate or family photo album on your lawn is one thing; a car on your roof is quite another.

If you can, try to find out whose property it is and contact the owner if possible.

You should gather the property together as much as is possible. Government agencies or charities may set up a centralized “lost and found” clearinghouse.


Who is Responsible to Replace My Personal Property that was Located on Someone Else’s Property (i.e. Least Property, Rented out to a Customer, etc.)?

Hopefully, you had insurance on it. Check your policy.

Who is Responsible for the Value of My Personal Property that was Stolen (Looted)?

Technically, the thief is responsible for the value of your property. If the thief is captured and convicted, making restitution to you may be part of the thief’s probation, parole, or sentence.

As a practical matter, you should file a police report. You can submit this report to your insurer to substantiate your loss. You should also file an insurance claim.

Under Colorado law, victims of crime may receive compensation through the Colorado Victim Compensation Program. The Program exists in each of the state’s 22 judicial districts. The judicial district where the crime occurred is responsible for accepting and reviewing victim compensation applications. To locate the correct district to apply in, contact the state office at: (303) 239-4493. You may also view the judicial districts map.


How Do I Apply for the Victim Compensation Program?

You are required to apply in the district where the crime occurred. You must submit an application and itemized bills directly related to the crime. You may contact the victim compensation administrator in the district where the crime occurred to receive an application, or you may use the common application on the state’s website.

How Long will it Take to Receive Money?

The processing time is different for each district. However, it generally takes 30-45 days to be notified of the program’s decision.

How Much Can I Receive from the Victim Compensation Program?

Victims may be eligible to receive up to $20,000 for out-of-pocket expenses not covered by insurance or other collateral resources, or up to $1,000 in emergency funds directly related to the crime. However, due to the number of claims and financial constraints, not every program can pay up to the statutory maximum. You must contact the district where the crime occurred to determine eligibility.

What are the Eligibility Requirements for the Victim Compensation Program?

The following eligibility requirements must be met for a person to be eligible to receive funds from the Victim Compensation Program:

  1. The crime must be one in which the victim sustains mental or bodily injury, dies, or suffers property damage to locks, windows, or doors to residential property as a result of a compensable crime;
  2. The victim must cooperate with law enforcement officials;
  3. The police must have been notified within 72 hours after the crime occurred;
  4. The injury or death of the victim was not the result of the victim’s own wrongdoing or substantial provocation; and
  5. The application for compensation must be submitted within one year from the date of the crime (or within six months for property damage claims).

The local Victim Compensation Board may waive some of these requirements for good cause or in the interest of justice. However, it is in your best interest to comply fully with all of the listed eligibility requirements.

For further details, please review the Crime Victim Compensation Statute.


What if My Victim Compensation Claim is Denied?

If your victim compensation claim is denied or the award is reduced, you have a right to ask the board to reconsider its decision. You should be notified of the right to request reconsideration of the board’s decision in writing.