Earnings from Self-Employment Income In Determining Earning Capacity

In Capuano v. Workers' Comp. Appeal Bd. (Boeing Helicopter Co.), 724 A.2d 407 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1999), this Court held that earnings from self-employment income must be taken into account when determining a claimant's earnings or earning capacity. Id. at 413. In fact, this Court has held that self-employment income earned by an individual receiving workers' compensation benefits may be credited against the amount of benefits which the employer must pay. Univ. of Pittsburgh v. Workers' Comp. Appeal Bd. (Johnson), 167 Pa. Commw. 643, 648 A.2d 1315 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1994). In Capuano, the claimant worked for the employer as a tool and pattern maker when he suffered a work-related injury. He began to receive benefits pursuant to an NCP. Approximately three years later, the employer filed a petition for modification and suspension, alleging that the claimant had returned to work at an undetermined earning power three months after sustaining his injury. the WCJ found that the evidence supported the conclusion that claimant had returned to work as a self-employed roofing contractor, and that earnings from the roofing job could be taken into consideration in determining his earnings or earning capacity for purposes of adjudicating a petition for modification.