NEIL V. WAKE, District Judge.
Plaintiff Joni Ellen Payton seeks review under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) of the final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security ("the Commissioner"), which denied her supplemental security income under section 1614(a)(3)(A) of the Social Security Act. Because the decision of the Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") is supported by substantial evidence and is not based on legal error, the Commissioner's decision will be affirmed.
A. Factual Background
Payton was born in December 1965. She has a limited education and has no past relevant work. She has been diagnosed with hepatitis C, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), mild sleep apnea, headaches, cervical and lumbar degenerative disc disease, and obesity. She is generally able to drive, shop for groceries, go to medical appointments, work in the garden, cook, and do light household chores. She helps her teenaged son with homework and can play board games.
B. Procedural History
On October 1, 2010, Payton applied for supplemental security income, alleging disability beginning January 15, 2003. On April 10, 2012, she appeared with her attorney and testified at a hearing before the ALJ. A vocational expert also testified.
On April 19, 2012, the ALJ issued a decision that Payton was not disabled within the meaning of the Social Security Act. The Appeals Council denied Payton's request for review of the hearing decision, making the ALJ's decision the Commissioner's final decision. On November 2, 2012, Payton sought review by this Court.
II. STANDARD OF REVIEW
The district court reviews only those issues raised by the party challenging the ALJ's decision. See Lewis v. Apfel, 236 F.3d 503, 517 n.13 (9th Cir. 2001). The court may set aside the Commissioner's disability determination only if the determination is not supported by substantial evidence or is based on legal error. Orn v. Astrue, 495 F.3d 625, 630 (9th Cir. 2007). Substantial evidence is more than a scintilla, less than a preponderance, and relevant evidence that a reasonable person might accept as adequate to support a conclusion considering the record as a whole. Id. In determining whether substantial evidence supports a decision, the court must consider the record as a whole and may not affirm simply by isolating a "specific quantum of supporting evidence." Id. As a general rule, "[w]here the evidence is susceptible to more than one rational interpretation, one of which supports the ALJ's decision, the ALJ's conclusion must be upheld." Thomas v. Barnhart, 278 F.3d 947, 954 (9th Cir. 2002) (citations omitted).
The ALJ is responsible for resolving conflicts in medical testimony, determining credibility, and resolving ambiguities. Andrews v. Shalala, 53 F.3d 1035, 1039 (9th Cir. 1995). In reviewing the ALJ's reasoning, the court is "not deprived of [its] faculties for drawing specific and legitimate inferences from the ALJ's opinion." Magallanes v. Bowen, 881 F.2d 747, 755 (9th Cir. 1989).
III. FIVE-STEP SEQUENTIAL EVALUATION PROCESS
To determine whether a claimant is disabled for purposes of the Social Security Act, the ALJ follows a five-step process. 20 C.F.R. § 416.920(a). The claimant bears the burden of proof on the first four steps, but at step five, the burden shifts to the Commissioner. Tackett v. Apfel, 180 F.3d 1094, 1098 (9th Cir. 1999).
At the first step, the ALJ determines whether the claimant is engaging in substantial gainful activity. 20 C.F.R. § 416.920(b). If so, the claimant is not disabled and the inquiry ends. Id. At step two, the ALJ determines whether the claimant has a "severe" medically determinable physical or mental impairment. § 416.920(c). If not, the claimant is not disabled and the inquiry ends. Id. At step three, the ALJ considers whether the claimant's impairment or combination of impairments meets or medically equals an impairment listed in Appendix 1 to Subpart P of 20 C.F.R. Pt. 404. § 416.920(d). If so, the claimant is automatically found to be disabled. Id. If not, the ALJ proceeds to step four. At step four, the ALJ assesses the claimant's residual functional capacity and determines whether the claimant is still capable of performing past relevant work. § 416.920(f). If so, the claimant is not disabled and the inquiry ends. Id. If not, the ALJ proceeds to the fifth and final step, where he determines whether the claimant can perform any other work based on the claimant's residual functional capacity, age, education, and work experience. § 416.920(g). If so, the claimant is not disabled. Id. If not, the claimant is disabled. Id.
At step one, the ALJ found that Payton has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since October 1, 2010. At step two, the ALJ found that Payton has the following severe impairments: hepatitis C, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), mild sleep apnea, headaches, cervical and lumbar degenerative disc disease, and obesity. At step three, the ALJ determined that Payton does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals an impairment listed in Appendix 1 to Subpart P of 20 C.F.R. Pt. 404.
At step four, the ALJ found that Payton:
has the residual functional capacity to perform sedentary work as defined in 20 CFR 416.967(a) except the claimant should never climb ladders, ropes, and scaffolds. She is able to occasionally climb ramps and stairs, balance, stoop, crouch, kneel, and crawl. In addition, the claimant should avoid concentrated exposure to extreme heat, irritants such ...