PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Rhode Island Department of Human Services says more than 1,000 people may lose their food assistance benefits due to falling unemployment rates.

The Providence Journal reports federal rules limit able-bodied adults without dependents to three months of food assistance in a three-year period.

The rules exempt people who live in communities whose unemployment rates are above the national average.

The DHS says all of Rhode Island's communities fell under the exemption for many years, but the exemption will be lifted for 12 communities Sept. 1. About 1,242 people will be affected.

DHS spokeswoman Alisha Pina says unemployment in those communities fell below 6 percent between February 2015 and January 2017.

Pina says the department is reaching out to give those people advance notice.

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Information from: The Providence Journal, http://www.providencejournal.com