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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.


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)


noun adynamy, anility, caducity, disablement, disenablement, disqualification, dotage, failure, feebleness, helplessness, impotence, impuissance, inability, inadequacy, inaptitude, incapability, incompetence, incompetency, incomprehension, inefficacy, inefficiency, ineptitude, infirmity, lack of caaacity, lack of fitness, lack of power, morosis, unfitness, unproficiency, unskillfulness, weakness
Associated concepts: disability, incapacity for work, incapaccty to sue, legal incapacity, mental incapacity, permanent incapacity, physical incapacity, total incapacity
See also: abortion, disability, disqualification, fault, frustration, ignorance, impotence, impuissance, inability, incompetence, inefficacy

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.

References in periodicals archive ?
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).
Being named guardian gives a person legal standing in most states to defend the client in an incapacity hearing.
By focusing on the concept of mental incapacity, Dr.
Those on incapacity payments deemed fit to work will be eligible for Jobseeker's Allowance.
In criminal trials, when mental incapacity is raised--whether for the purposes of exculpation, partial exculpation or for some other reason, such as to prevent a normal trial proceeding--it is often assumed to introduce distinctive and difficult issues of evidence and proof.
Much adverse publicity and propaganda has been used by this Government when referring to such places as Merthyr Tydfil with its high incapacity claimant rate.
5 million people claiming incapacity benefit is pounds 7billion a year.
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.
Summary: X Factor reject Wagner could face an investigation over claims he falsely claimed incapacity benefit.