Question: Can a civil servant receive zakat and sadaqah al-fitr?
One who is not, Islamically, rich can receive sadaqah al-fitr and zakat even if he or she is a civil servant with a high salary. If a Muslim has money or property in excess of his/her needs and debts, it is wajib for him/her to give sadaqah al-fitrah and haram to accept fitrah and zakat.
The wealth that will be included in the nisab of sadaqah al-fitr does not have to be commercial or remain for a year in ones possession. (Durr-ul-Mukhtar)
Richness that people know and richness in Islamic terminology are different. For example, Islamically, one who does not possess nisab is not considered rich even if one has a luxury car. In contrast, one who possesses nisab amount of money, gold, or trade goods is considered, Islamically, rich even if one lives in a rental house. Such a person must give zakat, and it is haram for him/her to accept zakat.
Anyone who does not possess nisab is considered poor and can accept zakat. If he or she possesses nisab, then it is wajib for him or her to give sadaqah al-fitr. If a civil servant earns a high salary but does not possess nisab, that is, if he does not have wealth as much as nisab after deducting his debts, he is considered poor. Conversely, one on a low pay is considered rich if one possesses nisab after deducting debts and therefore have to give sadaqah al-fitr. (Radd-ul-Mukhtar)
[Nisab refers to 96 grams of gold or its equivalent in money or trade goods.]