MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
SAM A. CROW, Senior District Judge.
This is an action reviewing the final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security denying the plaintiff disability insurance benefits. The matter has been fully briefed by the parties.
I. General legal standards
The court's standard of review is set forth in 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), which provides that "the findings of the Commissioner as to any fact, if supported by substantial evidence, shall be conclusive." The court should review the Commissioner's decision to determine only whether the decision was supported by substantial evidence and whether the Commissioner applied the correct legal standards. Glenn v. Shalala , 21 F.3d 983, 984 (10th Cir. 1994). Substantial evidence requires more than a scintilla, but less than a preponderance, and is satisfied by such evidence that a reasonable mind might accept to support the conclusion. The determination of whether substantial evidence supports the Commissioner's decision is not simply a quantitative exercise, for evidence is not substantial if it is overwhelmed by other evidence or if it really constitutes mere conclusion. Ray v. Bowen , 865 F.2d 222, 224 (10th Cir. 1989). Although the court is not to reweigh the evidence, the findings of the Commissioner will not be mechanically accepted. Nor will the findings be affirmed by isolating facts and labeling them substantial evidence, as the court must scrutinize the entire record in determining whether the Commissioner's conclusions are rational. Graham v. Sullivan , 794 F.Supp. 1045, 1047 (D. Kan. 1992). The court should examine the record as a whole, including whatever in the record fairly detracts from the weight of the Commissioner's decision and, on that basis, determine if the substantiality of the evidence test has been met. Glenn , 21 F.3d at 984.
The Social Security Act provides that an individual shall be determined to be under a disability only if the claimant can establish that they have a physical or mental impairment expected to result in death or last for a continuous period of twelve months which prevents the claimant from engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA). The claimant's physical or mental impairment or impairments must be of such severity that they are not only unable to perform their previous work but cannot, considering their age, education, and work experience, engage in any other kind of substantial gainful work which exists in the national economy. 42 U.S.C. § 423(d).
The Commissioner has established a five-step sequential evaluation process to determine disability. If at any step a finding of disability or non-disability can be made, the Commissioner will not review the claim further. At step one, the agency will find non-disability unless the claimant can show that he or she is not working at a "substantial gainful activity." At step two, the agency will find non-disability unless the claimant shows that he or she has a "severe impairment, " which is defined as any "impairment or combination of impairments which significantly limits [the claimant's] physical or mental ability to do basic work activities." At step three, the agency determines whether the impairment which enabled the claimant to survive step two is on the list of impairments presumed severe enough to render one disabled. If the claimant's impairment does not meet or equal a listed impairment, the inquiry proceeds to step four, at which the agency assesses whether the claimant can do his or her previous work; unless the claimant shows that he or she cannot perform their previous work, they are determined not to be disabled. If the claimant survives step four, the fifth and final step requires the agency to consider vocational factors (the claimant's age, education, and past work experience) and to determine whether the claimant is capable of performing other jobs existing in significant numbers in the national economy. Barnhart v. Thomas , 124 S.Ct. 376, 379-380 (2003).
The claimant bears the burden of proof through step four of the analysis. Nielson v. Sullivan , 992 F.2d 1118, 1120 (10th Cir. 1993). At step five, the burden shifts to the Commissioner to show that the claimant can perform other work that exists in the national economy. Nielson , 992 F.2d at 1120; Thompson v. Sullivan , 987 F.2d 1482, 1487 (10th Cir. 1993). The Commissioner meets this burden if the decision is supported by substantial evidence. Thompson , 987 F.2d at 1487.
Before going from step three to step four, the agency will assess the claimant's residual functional capacity (RFC). This RFC assessment is used to evaluate the claim at both step four and step five. 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(a)(4), 404.1520(e, f, g); 416.920(a)(4), 416.920(e, f, g).
II. History of case
On November 21, 2011, administrative law judge (ALJ) Linda L. Sybrant issued her decision (R. at 13-19). Plaintiff alleges that she has been disabled since August 28, 2008 (R. at 13). Plaintiff is insured for disability insurance benefits through December 31, 2013 (R. at 15). At step one, the ALJ found that plaintiff has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since plaintiff's alleged onset date (R. at 15). At step two, the ALJ found that plaintiff has the following severe impairments: degenerative disc disease of the cervical spine; weight disproportionate to height at 5'3" tall with weight ranging between 218 and 240 pounds; and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (R. at 15). At step three, the ALJ determined that plaintiff's impairments do not meet or equal a listed impairment (R. at 17). After determining plaintiff's RFC (R. at 17), the ALJ determined at step four that plaintiff is able to perform her past relevant work (R. at 18-19). Therefore, the ALJ concluded that plaintiff was not disabled (R. at 19).
III. Did the ALJ err by failing to consider the opinions of Dr. Adams, Dr. Schulman and Dr. Bergmann-Harms regarding plaintiff's mental RFC?
On November 15, 2010, Dr. Adams prepared a mental RFC assessment in which she opined that plaintiff had moderate impairments in the ability to understand, remember and carry out detailed instructions; in the ability to maintain attention and concentration for extended periods; and in the ability to interact with the general public. Dr. Adams stated that plaintiff can complete simple tasks, is limited in working with the public, but can interact with co-workers and supervisors (R. at 456-458). This assessment was affirmed by Dr. Schulman on February 8, 2011 (R. at 489), and by Dr. Bergmann-Harms on June 17, 2011 (R. at 583) (Doc. 16 at 8). This assessment, which was adopted by three medical sources, was never mentioned by the ALJ. Defendant concedes that this assessment was not discussed by the ALJ (Doc. 16 at 8-9). Dr. Adams, in a separate report, opined that plaintiff's depression was severe, and indicated that plaintiff had moderate difficulties in maintaining social functioning, and moderate difficulties in maintaining concentration, persistence, or pace (R. at 442-454). In making this finding, Dr. Adams referred to the diagnosis by Dr. Jordan, a consultative examiner, who, on July 22, 2010, diagnosed major depressive disorder, severe, without psychotic features (R. at 327, 454). Dr. Adams also noted that Dr. Risk, a treatment provider, diagnosed plaintiff on August 4, 2010 with major depressive disorder, severe, with psychosis (R. at 367-374, 454). This report was also adopted by Dr. Schulman and Dr. Bergmann-Harms (R. at 489, 583).
An ALJ must evaluate every medical opinion in the record. Hamlin v. Barnhart , 365 F.3d 1208, 1215 (10th Cir. 2004). This rule was recently described as a "well-known and overarching requirement." Martinez v. Astrue , 2011 WL 1549517 at *4 (10th Cir. Apr. 26, 2011). Even on issues reserved to the Commissioner, including plaintiff's RFC and the ultimate issue of disability, opinions from any medical source must be carefully considered and must never be ignored. Social Security Ruling (SSR) 96-5p, 1996 WL 374183 at *2-3. The ALJ "will" evaluate every medical opinion that they receive, and will consider a number of factors in deciding the weight to give to any medical opinion. 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1527(c), 416.927(c). It is clear legal error to ignore a medical opinion. Victory v. Barnhart , 121 Fed.Appx. 819, 825 (10th Cir. Feb. 4, 2005). Furthermore, according to SSR 96-8p:
The RFC assessment must include a narrative discussion describing how the evidence supports each conclusion, citing specific medical ...