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The absence of legal ability, competence, or qualifications.

An individual incapacitated by infancy, for example, does not have the legal ability to enter into certain types of agreements, such as marriage or contracts.

Under provisions of Workers' Compensation laws, the term incapacity refers to the inability to find and retain employment due to a disease or injury that prevents the performance of the customary duties of a worker.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


adj. 1) not being able to perform any gainful employment due to congenital disability, illness (including mental), physical injury, advanced age, or intellectual deficiency. This is significant in claims for workmen's compensation, disability insurance, or Social Security claims under "SSI." 2) lacking the ability to understand one's actions in making a will, executing some other document, or entering into an agreement. A challenge to the validity of a will often turns on a claim that the person (now dead and unable to testify) lacked the capacity to understand what he/she owned, who were the "natural objects of his/her bounty" (close relatives primarily), that no one was able to dominate the testator's (will writer's) judgment so as to exert "undue influence." Mental weakness may show lack of capacity to make a will, as can fear, intimidation, or persistent drunkenness. Example: an old lady is kept well supplied with whiskey for several months by her greedy sisters, who finally convince her to change the will from benefitting her children to benefitting them, when she is blotto and fearful they will cut off her supply. A court would probably find she had lacked capacity to decide to make the latest version of the will. (See: incompetent)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

INCAPACITY. The want of a quality legally to do, give, transmit, or receive something.
     2. It arises from nature, from the law, or from both. From nature, when the party has not his senses, as, in the case of an idiot; from the law, as, in the case of a bastard who cannot inherit from nature and the law; as, in the case of a married woman, who cannot make contracts or a will.
     3. In general, the incapacity ceases with the cause which produces it. If the idiot should obtain his senses, or the married woman's husband die, their incapacity would be at an end.
     4. When a cause of action arises during the incapacity of a person having the right to sue, the act of limitation does not, in general, commence to run till the incapacity has been removed. But two incapacities cannot be joined in order to come within the statute.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
This eliminates the need to prove or establish incapacity because your agent can act on your behalf even if you are not incapacitated.
But it could be kept in mind that incapacities keep the closest statements with the persons' law and the family law; but firstly with the persons' law because by incapacity it is disturbed even the person, his personality is diminished (certainly not in all cases).
This means that of the 14,130 assessments on Teesside around 23% of incapacity bene-
Those found fit to work were stripped of their incapacity benefit and moved onto Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA).
[check] Think carefully about who can determine incapacity. Should a donor such as Donald Sterling have mandated that his own personal physician be one of the physicians who had to determine whether he was incapacitated?
Loughnan refers to "mental incapacity" as connoting "an absence of, or impairment in, the moral, cognitive, and volitional capacities both assumed and required by the law." (2) While the title Manifest Madness suggests a focus on the defence of insanity and its more recent formulations, her broad definition of mental incapacity enables Dr.
Those on incapacity payments deemed fit to work will be eligible for Jobseeker's Allowance.
CONTENTS I Introduction II A Historical Approach to Evidence and Proof of Mental Incapacity in Criminal Law III 'Manifest Madness' Applied: Beyond the Bounds of Insanity in the 'Long' 18th Century A The Substantive Significance of the Accused's Conduct B 'Madness' Evident or Obvious to Ordinary People C Common Knowledge of 'Madness' IV Rethinking Evidence and Proof of Mental Incapacity I INTRODUCTION
According to the recent research report into incapacity benefit reform by Christina Beatty and Professor Steve Fothergill, of Sheffield Hallam University, Wales will be worst hit as 65,000 people are taken off incapacity benefit.
More than 80,000 are claiming incapacity benefits because they can't get a job due to obesity, or drink or drug addiction.
One person who took Warm Zone up on their offer of help was Mr Henderson of Blyth who contacted Lisa when his incapacity benefit was stopped.