As a representative payee, you have a duty to use the Social Security benefits for the sole benefit of the disabled individual. You were named representative payee because SSA determined that the disabled person was unable to manage their own finances. If that situation has changed, the disabled individual can contact SSA and ask for removal of their representative payee. SSA may require some sort of examination or meeting with the individual before making the change.
If you have been using the money for appropriate expenses, you will should not have any problems with SSA. If you want to review the rules for representative payees, go here: http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10076.pdf
Here is a brief quote from the representative payee manual:
"First, you must make sure the beneficiary’s day-
to-day needs for food and shelter are met. Then, the
money can be used for any of the beneficiary’s medical
and dental care that is not covered by health insurance,
and for personal needs, such as clothing and recreation.
If there is money left after you pay for the beneficiary’s
needs, it must be saved, preferably in an interest-
bearing account or U.S. Savings Bonds."
As may be stated elsewhere on this site, my comments should not be construed as legal advice. Until I have signed an attorney fee agreement with you, I do not represent you. Reviewing comments by attorneys on any website can be helpful, but should not be considered a replacement for representation by actual legal counsel.
I agree with Mr. Prig more. Also, as a representative payee, you should have used the monies as you described (for the child's upbringing). Explain to them that the money was not for them but for the upbringing.
If SSA decides to investigate, I would strongly suggest seeking a social security attorney to assist you.
Children often expect that the Rep Payee should hand over a bank account full of money when they turn 18 but as you have been advised, the Rep Payee is supposed to use the funds for the child's needs and there is no requirement nor any expectation that the Rep Payee will accumulate funds for the child. If you used the funds for the child's benefit and you can document that fact, then you have nothing to worry about.
It is impossible to give specific answers to questions without meeting and fully discussing all of the potential issues that may not be addressed by your question. The answer(s) provided should be considered general information and are not legal advice. Only after a thorough personal consultation could specific legal advice be given. Viewing this information is not intended to create, and does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. To enter such a relationship you and I would need to consult in person and form a mutually agreeable written contract of engagement. The answer(s) provided in this forum is intended to educate you and point to issues for you to raise in a consultation with a lawyer of your choosing who is appropriately competent in the field of law that your question concerns and who is duly licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where you live and/or where the events giving rise to your question occurred. You should not take any action that might affect your claim(s) without first seeking the professional opinion of a licensed attorney. There are often strict deadlines for filing suit, responding to a suit or making an appeal and you need to personally consult with an attorney to make sure that you understand and meet those deadlines.