Here is a common problem. You apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), but then Social Security tells you that your spouse is making too much money for you to be eligible.
How much is too much?
To be eligible for Social Security Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your countable income has to be less than the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR). According to Social Security, countable income is the amount left after, “eliminating from consideration all items that are not income; and applying all appropriate exclusions to the items that are income.” Then, “the amount actually subtracted from the maximum Federal benefit to determine your eligibility and to compute your monthly payment amount.”
In 2015, the FBR is $733 per month for individuals and $1,100 for couples. This page lists the Federal Benefit Rates back to 1998. So, your spouse has to be making less than these amounts to keep you eligible for SSI benefits. At least, that is the best answer I am able to find to this surprisingly tricky question.
I am not addressing the difference between countable income and non-countable income. For that I refer you to your local Social Security office. This is just to give you a ball-park idea of how much of your spouse’s income may be too much. I encourage anyone trying to find out if they qualify financially for SSI, to check with Social Security.