Q: How do we know if a recipient of Zakat is poor or needy?
A: The opinion of the Hanafi school of jurisprudence is that Zakat is given to to someone whose Zakatable assets are below the nisab value whilst also not having any surplus assets i.e. extra house, extra car, extra mobile etc.
According to the other schools i.e. Malikis, Shafi’is and Hanbalis, someone without enough wealth to pay for necessities of life, is eligible to receive Zakat. This is irrespective of the fact that the amount they currently have in their possesion is below or above the nisab value.
And Allah knows best!
Mufti Billal Omarjee