The opinion of the court was delivered by: Paul L. Abrams United States Magistrate Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
PROCEEDINGS Plaintiff filed this action on December 29, 2009, seeking review of the Commissioner's denial of her application for Supplemental Security Income payments. The parties filed Consents to proceed before the undersigned Magistrate Judge on March 3, 2010, and March 4, 2010. Pursuant to the Court's Order, the parties filed a Joint Stipulation on September 23, 2010, that addresses their positions concerning the disputed issues in the case. The Court has taken the Joint Stipulation under submission without oral argument.
Plaintiff was born on July 2, 1963. [Administrative Record ("AR") at 73, 74, 76.] She has a tenth grade education and past relevant work experience as a store manager and salesperson. [AR at 80-81, 84, 86-87, 113-20.]
On July 19, 2004, plaintiff protectively filed her application for Supplemental Security Income payments, alleging that she has been unable to work since January 19, 2004, due to chronic asthma, a heart condition, a hernia, and diabetes. [AR at 12, 73-85.] After her application was denied initially and on reconsideration, plaintiff requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ"). [AR at 34, 39-44, 51, 59-63.] A hearing was held on October 17, 2006, at which plaintiff appeared with counsel and testified on her own behalf. A vocational expert also testified. [AR at 258-77.] On February 7, 2007, the ALJ determined that plaintiff was not disabled. [AR at 9-20.] The Appeals Council denied plaintiff's request for review of the hearing decision on June 29, 2007. [AR at 4-8.] On August 22, 2007, plaintiff filed a complaint in this Court in Case No. CV 07-5488-PLA. [See AR at 323.] On June 17, 2008, the Court entered judgment for plaintiff and remanded the case back to the ALJ for further proceedings. [AR at 322-31.] On remand, the ALJ held a hearing on June 9, 2009, at which plaintiff appeared with counsel and again testified on her own behalf. A vocational expert also testified. [AR at 818-33.] On July 21, 2009, the ALJ issued an opinion again finding plaintiff not disabled. [AR at 278-90.] This action followed.
STANDARD OF REVIEW Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), this Court has authority to review the Commissioner's decision to deny benefits. The decision will be disturbed only if it is not supported by substantial evidence or if it is based upon the application of improper legal standards. Moncada v. Chater, 60 F.3d 521, 523 (9th Cir. 1995); Drouin v. Sullivan, 966 F.2d 1255, 1257 (9th Cir. 1992).
In this context, the term "substantial evidence" means "more than a mere scintilla but less than a preponderance -- it is such relevant evidence that a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support the conclusion." Moncada, 60 F.3d at 523; see also Drouin, 966 F.2d at 1257. When determining whether substantial evidence exists to support the Commissioner's decision, the Court examines the administrative record as a whole, considering adverse as well as supporting evidence. Drouin, 966 F.2d at 1257; Hammock v. Bowen, 879 F.2d 498, 501 (9th Cir. 1989). Where the evidence is susceptible to more than one rational interpretation, the Court must defer to the decision of the Commissioner. Moncada, 60 F.3d at 523; Andrews v. Shalala,
53 F.3d 1035, 1039-40 (9th Cir. 1995); Drouin, 966 F.2d at 1258.
THE EVALUATION OF DISABILITY Persons are "disabled" for purposes of receiving Social Security benefits if they are unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity owing to a physical or mental impairment that is expected to result in death or which has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of ...