The opinion of the court was delivered by: Alicia G. Rosenberg United States Magistrate Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Miguel E. Bermudez filed this action on November 19, 2009. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), the parties consented to proceed before Magistrate Judge Rosenberg on November 24 and December 28, 2009. (Dkt. Nos. 8, 9.) On July 23, 2010, the parties filed a Joint Stipulation ("JS") that addressed the disputed issues. The Court has taken the matter under submission without oral argument.
Having reviewed the entire file, the Court remands this matter to the Commissioner for proceedings consistent with this Opinion.
On August 6, 2007, Bermudez filed an application for disability insurance benefits. Administrative Record ("AR") 17. Bermudez alleged a disability onset date of November 22, 2000. Id. The application was denied initially and upon reconsideration. AR 17, 78-81, 84-88. Bermudez requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ"). AR 89. On January 5 and March 10, 2009, the ALJ conducted a hearing at which Bermudez, a medical expert, and a vocational expert ("VE") testified.*fn1 AR 32-70, 73-74. On April 14, 2009, the ALJ issued a decision denying benefits. AR 14-28. On August 7, 2009, Bermudez requested that the Appeals Council review the decision denying benefits. AR 13. On September 25, 2009, the Appeals Council denied the request for review. AR 1-7. This action followed.
Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), this Court reviews 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) (per curiam); Drouin v. Sullivan, 966 F.2d 1255, 1257 (9th Cir. 1992).
"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. In 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. When the evidence is susceptible to more than one rational interpretation, the Court must defer to the Commissioner's decision. Moncada, 60 F.3d at 523.
A person qualifies as disabled, and thereby eligible for such benefits, "'only if his physical or mental impairment or impairments are of such severity that he is not only unable to do his previous work but cannot, considering his age, education, and work experience, engage in any other kind of substantial gainful work which exists in the national economy.'" Barnhart v. Thomas, 540 U.S. 20, 21-22, 124 S. Ct. 376, 157 L. Ed. 2d 333 (2003) (citation omitted).
The ALJ found that Bermudez met the insured status requirements through December 31, 2005. AR 19.
As of the date last insured, Bermudez had severe impairments of degenerative changes of the right shoulder and obesity. AR 20. Bermudez had the residual functional capacity ("RFC") to "lift and carry 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frequently; and sit, stand, and walk 6 hours in an 8-hour workday." AR 23. He could "push and pull with his upper extremities, occasionally and could engage in occasional postural activity, except that he was precluded from climbing ropes, ladders, and scaffolds." Id. He "was also limited to occasional reaching ...