A DigitalPoint Forums thread asks if Google AdSense checks ever expire?
Most checks tend to expire after a certain time period, especially ones from larger organizations that need to be able to properly manage and balance their bank accounts.
Google has actually answered this question over here:
AdSense checks expire six months after they've been issued. If a check hasn't been cashed six months after the date that appears on the check, a stop payment will be placed on the check. When this happens, you'll see the line 'Check Expired - Earnings credited back' appear in your Payment History page. We'll then reissue these earnings in the next cycle in which you're eligible for payments.
Typically, the check will expire after six months. If that happens to you, you should see a "Check Expired" description in your payment history page. What if you want that money? You need to ask Google to reissue those earnings in a new check.
Forum discussion at DigitalPoint Forums.