The opinion of the court was delivered by: John E. Mcdermott United States Magistrate Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER AFFIRMING DECISION OF THE COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY PROCEEDINGS
On May 5, 2010, Theta Taylor ("Plaintiff" or "Claimant" or "Taylor") filed a complaint seeking review of the decision by the Commissioner of Social Security ("Commissioner") denying Plaintiff's application for disability and disability insurance benefits. The Commissioner filed an Answer on December 2, 2010. On March 7, 2011, the parties filed a Joint Stipulation ("JS"). The matter is now ready for decision.
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), both parties consented to proceed before the Magistrate Judge. After reviewing the pleadings, transcripts, and administrative record ("AR"), the Court concludes that the Commissioner's decision should be affirmed and the case dismissed with prejudice.
Plaintiff is a 50 year old female who was found to have the medically determinable severe combination of impairments of morbid obesity with satisfactorily controlled diabetes mellitus II, treated hypertension, treated hyperthyroidism, bilateral calcaneal spurs, degenerative and joint disc disease of the lumbar spine with low back pain, ischemic heart disease, depressive disorder, and personality disorder. (AR 50.) Plaintiff alleged disability beginning March 6, 2005. (AR 48.)
Plaintiff's claim was denied initially on August 15, 2005, and on reconsideration on February 3, 2006. (AR 48.) Plaintiff filed a written request for hearing, which was held before Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") Mason D. Harrell, Jr. on May 4, 2006, July 17, 2007, and August 29, 2007, in San Bernardino, California. (AR 48.) Claimant was represented by Attorney Tina Laine. (AR 48.) Medical experts David M. Glassmire and Samuel Landau as well as Sandra M. Fioretti, a vocational expert ("VE"), also testified. (AR 48.)
The ALJ issued an unfavorable decision on September 13, 2007. (AR 58.) The Appeals Council denied review on January 27, 2010. (AR 3, 3A, 4.)
As reflected in the Joint Stipulation, Plaintiff raises but one disputed issue as a ground for reversal:
1. Whether the ALJ's step five determination is supported by substantial evidence.
Under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), this Court reviews the ALJ's decision to determine whether the ALJ's findings are supported by substantial evidence and free of legal error. Smolen v. Chater, 80 F.3d 1273, 1279 (9th Cir. 1996); see also DeLorme v. Sullivan, 924 F.2d 841, 846 (9th Cir. 1991) (ALJ's disability determination must be supported by substantial evidence and based on the proper legal standards).
Substantial evidence means "'more than a mere scintilla' . . . but less than a preponderance." Saelee v. Chater, 94 F.3d 520, 521-22 (9th Cir. 1996) (quoting Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401 (1971)). Substantial evidence is "such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion." Richardson, 402 U.S. at 401 (internal quotations and citation omitted).
This Court must review the record as a whole and consider adverse as well as supporting evidence. Robbins v. Soc. Sec. Admin., 466 F.3d 880, 882 (9th Cir. 2006). Where evidence is susceptible to more than one rational interpretation, the ALJ's decision must be upheld. Morgan v. Comm'r, 169 F.3d 595, 599 (9th Cir. 1999). "However, a reviewing court must consider the entire record as a whole and may not affirm simply by isolating a 'specific quantum of supporting evidence.'" Robbins, 466 F.3d at 882 (quoting Hammock v. Bowen, 879 F.2d 498, 501 (9th Cir. 1989)); see also Orn v. Astrue, 495 F.3d 625, 630 (9th Cir. 2007).
The Social Security Act defines disability as the "inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or . . . can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months." 42 U.S.C. §§ 423(d)(1)(A), 1382c(a)(3)(A). The ...